Have you missed a trial date and had a bench warrant issued? Maryland criminal lawyer Randolph Rice is an experienced and trusted bench warrant attorney. He has helped thousands of clients with bench warrants in Maryland. Don’t wait if you have a bench warrant, call the office today at (410) 694-7291 for immediate bench warrant help.
What is a Bench Warrant?
What is a bench warrant? A bench warrant is an order or decree issued by a Judge directing or “ordering” law enforcement officers to arrest and hold an individual. When an individual fails to appear for Court or fails to obey a lawful order of the Court, then the Judge may issue a bench warrant for the individuals arrest.
History of Bench Warrants
Bench warrant, if broken down, is two words.
Origin of “Bench”
Bench, which mean the Judge because that is the term used to describe where the Judge sits. Bench is used in other contexts, such a bench trial, which means a Judge trial.
Origin of “Warrant”
Warrant is taken from Old English terms meaning to protect or protect from the public. In theory, the warrant issued by the Judge is protecting the public from the defendant the warrant was issued for.
HOW DO MARYLAND BENCH WARRANTS WORK?
A bench warrant is an order issued by a Judge to arrest an individual for failing to appear for a court appearance. Thus the word “bench” which refers to the Judge, who sits at the bench and warrant, which has origins old english for “protector” from the public.
A bench warrant is issued either from the request by the State of Maryland or on the Judge’s own initiative. If an individual, who has been ordered to appear in Court by either a summons or prior arrest, does not appear in Court, then the Judge may/will issue a bench warrant.
Bench Warrant in Maryland
Bench warrants are common in Maryland when a defendant misses a court date. A bench warrants will be issued in Maryland if you miss a criminal or traffic trial date.
Bench warrants are sometimes referred to as “arrest warrants.” A bench warrant is issued by a Judge. Where an arrest warrant is usually issued by a commissioner, but a Judge can also issue an arrest warrant.
For information about the Baltimore Bench Warrant Lawyer Randolph Rice, contact the office today.
Why Do I Have a Bench Warrant?
The Court issued a bench warrant because you missed a trial or hearing or you were late to Court. The Judge may also issue a bench warrant if you previously were issued a summons and it was not served by the police.
If criminal charges were filed against you and you fail to appear, the court may convert the summons to a bench/arrest warrant. If there is a bench warrant issued, the Court will forward the warrant to the police station that is closest to your home.
Most police departments have warrant task forces that serve bench warrants. These task forces serve warrants everyday.
A BENCH WARRANT DOES NOT MEAN JAIL
A Maryland bench warrant does not always mean a person will go to jail. A lawyer can file a motion to recall the warrant or more properly a “Motion to Quash.”
If the Judge grants the motion to quash, then the Court has the option to issue a summons for the defendant to appear at a later court or trial date.
When a lawyer files the motion to recall or quash and the Judge grants to the motion, then the defendant does not have to go to jail for the bench warrant.
Don’t Wait to Talk to A Maryland Bench Warrant Lawyer
The longer you wait, the higher the probability the police will find you and arrest you for the bench warrant. The police will be actively looking for you at your home and possible place of employment.
If you are stopped and the police run your name, they will arrest you. Don’t wait, talk to Maryland bench warrant lawyer Randolph Rice today – (410) 694-7291.
What Can A Maryland Bench Warrant Lawyer Do to Recall a Warrant?
The first step is to determine who issued the bench warrant. If it is a bench warrant issued by a Judge for failing to appear, then we can file a motion.
This motion is called a “Motion to Quash a Bench Warrant.” It is advisable to hire a criminal lawyer to execute this warrant.
As the Court typically wants to see a lawyer enter his appearance in the matter. This will give the Court some assurance that the defendant will appear at the next trial or hearing date.
The motion to quash will lay out who the defendant is and why the defendant missed court. In addition, your criminal defense lawyer will attach any supporting documents explaining why the defendant missed the court date.
How Long Will it Take to Quash a Bench Warrant?
Most courts will rule on the motion to quash a bench warrant within One (1) week. Some may act quicker while some jurisdictions may take longer.
Read More About the Bench Warrant process in:
What happens if I am arrested in the meantime?
If you are arrested while waiting for the Court to rule on the motion to quash the bench warrant. You will be taken before a commissioner or the Judge that issued the bench warrant.
If the Judge pre-set the bail, then you can post the bail and you will be released. If the Judge did not set a bail amount, then the commissioner will set the bail amount.
What happens if the Court Grants the Motion to Quash the Bench Warrant?
If the motion to quash the bench warrant is granted, the clerk of Court will schedule a new trial/hearing date. This notice will be sent by mail. It is important to pay attention to your mail. The new notice will come in the mail and you don’t want to miss the next trial date.
BENCH WARRANT VS ARREST WARRANT
A “Bench Warrant” is issued by a Judge for failing to appear. An “arrest warrant” is issued by a Judge or commissioner for an initial criminal charge.
HOW LONG DOES A BENCH WARRANT LAST?
A bench warrant will last forever or until the person is arrested or a Judge recalls the bench warrant. Maryland bench warrants do not go away just because time has passed.
Therefore, if you try to avoid the bench warrant or being arrested by the police, the warrant will not go away.
You may also get arrested in another State for a bench warrant issued by a Maryland Judge. Maryland will have to decide if they want to extradite you for the bench warrant.
WILL I RECEIVE A BENCH WARRANT IF I DON’T SHOW UP FOR A TRAFFIC TICKET?
There are two types of traffic tickets in Maryland; Payable and Must Appear. To determine if the tickets issued are “must appear” or “payable,” look at the tickets and there will be either a fine amount or the words “must appear” printed on the ticket (towards the lower right side of the printout).
Failing to appear for a payable traffic ticket, like a speeding ticket or stop sign violation will not result in a bench warrant.
Instead, the Court will notify the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) and the MVA will suspend the driver’s privilege to drive. The words “failure to comply – suspension” will appear at the bottom of the ticket on Maryland Judiciary Case Search.
As long as the ticket does unpaid or a new trial date is not requested, the driver’s license will be suspended.
If a driver is issued a must appear traffic ticket and fails to appear, then the Court will issue a bench warrant.
The Court will probably order that the bail be set by the commissioner when the individual is arrested for the bench warrant. Bail for a fail to appear bench warrant can vary by county and differ based on the defendant’s criminal background.
Maryland Bench Warrant Laws
There are various laws that define the authority of procedures for the Court and law enforcement.
Criminal Procedure §2-103 Authority of Police Officers
Maryland Rule 4-231 Presence of Defendant
How Do I Know If I Have a Bench Warrant?
You typically don’t know if you have a bench warrant until a police officer of sheriff attempts to serve that warrant. If the officer cannot serve the warrant because you are not home, the person that did speak with the officer may inform you that there is a warrant out for your arrest. If you are able to get the case number, then you will know what case the warrant is for,
BENCH WARRANT MARYLAND SEARCH
HOW A MARYLAND BENCH WARRANT LAWYER HELP?
A Maryland bench warrant lawyer can file the necessary motions with the Court to request they recall the warrant for your arrest. Maryland criminal defense attorney Randolph Rice has filed hundreds of motions to recall bench warrants throughout Maryland.
If you have a pending bench warrant for your arrest, contact his office today to speak with a lawyer and get your warrant recalled.