Maryland Bench Warrant Lawyer

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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.


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 every day.


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.

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.


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.


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.


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

“(b)   A police officer may arrest a person throughout the State without limitations as to jurisdiction if:
(1)   a warrant has been issued against the person;
(2)   the police officer is participating in a joint operation created by an agreement between the primary law enforcement officers;
(3)   the arrest occurs within one of the participating jurisdictions in accordance with the agreement; and
(4)   the police officer is acting in accordance with regulations that the police officer’s employing unit adopts to carry out this section.”

Maryland Rule 4-231 Presence of Defendant

“(a) When Presence Required. A defendant shall be present at all times when required by the court. A corporation may be present by counsel.
(b) Right to Be Present – Exceptions. A defendant is entitled to be physically present in person at a preliminary hearing and every stage of the trial, except (1) at a conference or argument on a question of law; (2) when a nolle prosequi or stet is entered pursuant to Rules 4-247 and 4-248.”

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,


A person charged with a crime will not know if they have been charged until they are served by summons or warrant. However, if you failed to appear for active criminal case, the fail to appear and bench warrant will appear in Maryland Judiciary Case Search.
You can visit the State site, enter your name, find the case and find out if there has been a bench warrant issued.


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.


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