The judicial system is full of complex laws that create confusion for many people, especially those who have never had a run-in with the law before. It’s not uncommon for individuals who have every intention of abiding by court orders to misinterpret their instructions or miss a court date because they didn’t fully understand what they needed to do. If a judge issues a bench warrant against them for not abiding by court orders, they can face harsh consequences.
When facing criminal charges, it is essential to understand what bench warrants are and discover if there is one against you. If you learn that there is a bench warrant against you in Pennsylvania, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C. right away to learn how we may potentially resolve the situation and prevent additional criminal penalties.
What Is a Bench Warrant in Pennsylvania?
After an arrest, there are certain obligations with which you must comply according to criminal law. When you fail to meet those obligations, a judge can issue a bench warrant for your arrest. Unlike arrest warrants, which are prompted by law enforcement through an application, bench warrants are initiated by a judge on their own without an application.
The most frequent reasons for a judge to issue a bench warrant in Pennsylvania is if you:
- Fail to attend one of your required court appearances
- Fail to appear at a subpoenaed court date as a witness
- Fail to pay child support, fines, or fees imposed by the court
After a judge issues a bench warrant, law enforcement can arrest you at any time. Bench warrants do not expire, and the information is shared between Pennsylvania counties and other states. While police won’t typically search for you to enforce a bench warrant like with arrest warrants, the first time you come in contact with police, you’ll be placed under arrest and transported to the jurisdiction where the warrant was initiated.
How Do I Learn Whether I Have a Bench Warrant in Pennsylvania?
If you suspect there’s a bench warrant issued against you in Pennsylvania, you can contact your local court or police department to verify. However, it would be in your best interest to first consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can work on your behalf and contact law enforcement for you, like those at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C.
Depending on the circumstances, we will determine whether we can get the warrant lifted. We can also attempt to negotiate an agreement where you voluntarily surrender and appear before the judge to settle the warrant without spending any time in jail.
Possible Consequences of a Pennsylvania Bench Warrant
If you’re placed under arrest due to an active bench warrant, you will usually be incarcerated until your scheduled appearance before the judge. That’s why it’s essential to partner with an experienced bench warrant lawyer who can help you avoid this potential jail time.
At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C., we can pursue your surrender in return for avoiding a formal arrest. In any case, you will be required to appear before a judge, generally the same one who issued the warrant. The judge will determine whether to overturn the bench warrant and permit the underlying case to continue or to impose sanctions, such as:
- Jail time
- Fines and fees
- Revocation of bail
Additionally, the judge may require new terms for your bail. For example, they may require you to check in every few days to ensure you abide by future obligations.
How Can a Montgomery County Bench Warrant Lawyer Help?
When you retain an experienced Montgomery County bench warrant lawyer, they will first negotiate a deal for your voluntary surrender. In most cases, a judge appreciates the fact that you’re addressing the matter head-on rather than waiting for a traffic stop to be brought in. When you contact one of our experienced bench warrant attorneys at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C. as soon as possible after the warrant was issued, we have a better chance at resolving the matter without incurring the most severe possible punishments.
Often, you have a reasonable justification for missing a payment or court date, like being given incorrect information by court staff or a medical emergency. We can ensure the judge hears your version of events and will strive to get the warrant overturned without revoking your bail or other harsh punishment being enforced. At that point, we can defend you against the underlying criminal charge that resulted in your bench warrant from the start.
Consult an Experienced Bench Warrant Lawyer in Montgomery County, PA Today
Bench warrants are serious and should never be overlooked. Ignoring a Pennsylvania bench warrant can result in severe consequences that can negatively impact your future. Don’t wait to resolve your situation; consult a skilled Montgomery County bench warrant lawyer from Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C.
For more than 65 years, our lawyers have advocated for the legal rights of clients in Montgomery County. They can devise a legal strategy to move your life forward with the most favorable circumstances. To speak with a knowledgeable bench warrant lawyer over a free case review, complete a contact form or call 215-822-7575 today.