What should you do if you discover a warrant is out for your arrest?

court law

© BillionPhotos.com

If you discover that an arrest warrant or bench warrant has been issued against you, or if you failed to turn up to a court hearing you were ordered to, it’s important to take immediate action.  A warrant gives the police the right to take you into custody at any time – this could be at your home or place of work, during a routine traffic stop, or even when you appear in court for a different matter.  If you don’t take immediate action to resolve the problem, you will constantly be worrying about suddenly being stopped and taken to jail.

The Difference Between Bench and Arrest Warrants

Bench Warrant

If a bench warrant has been issued, law enforcement are directed to take you into custody, and then court, in order to address the warrant.  These are most usually assigned when a defendant violates their probation, fails to appear in court, or fails to obey a court order.  In the latter, this could be paying child support, failing to complete community service, or failing to pay a fine.  When picked up on a bench warrant, you could either be kept in jail until a new court date is issued, or be released after paying for court fees and a bond.

Arrest Warrant

An arrest warrant also directs law enforcement to take you into custody.  These are usually issued once an individual has committed a crime and the police have the required evidence to arrest them.  Once you have been taken into custody, you will be required to remain there until a hearing or arraignment takes place.

What Should You Do?

If you have discovered an arrest warrant has been taken out against you, or if you know you failed to turn up to court, it’s best to get in touch with an attorney.  They may be able to arrange an alternative course of action with the court, such as scheduling a hearing about your bench warrant, or arranging for you to appear at an arraignment rather than being arrested.

An attorney will know when the best time to turn yourself into jail is, and will be able to advise you on your options depending on the state you are in and the law.  They can also help you at any hearings you must attend, and help to explain your reasons for failing to attend when previously requested.  They can also fight to keep you out of jail.

Be Co-operative

One thing that we must mention here is that it’s important to be as co-operative as possible with law enforcement.  You don’t want to end up in more trouble by talking back to officers or defying their commands.  While being respectful may not have an impact on the length of time you spend in jail, it will make your time there more comfortable.

Having an attorney acting on your behalf is the best thing you can do if you have a warrant out for your arrest.

augusta free press
augusta free press

uva basketball team of destiny

Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.


Augusta Free Press content is available for free, as it has been since 2002, save for a disastrous one-month experiment at putting some content behind a pay wall back in 2009. (We won’t ever try that again. Almost killed us!) That said, it’s free to read, but it still costs us money to produce. The site is updated several times a day, every day, 365 days a year, 366 days on the leap year. (Stuff still happens on Christmas Day, is what we’re saying there.) AFP does well in drawing advertisers, but who couldn’t use an additional source of revenue? From time to time, readers ask us how they can support us, and we usually say, keep reading. Now we’re saying, you can drop us a few bucks, if you’re so inclined.


augusta free press
augusta free press news