Bench Warrant

Bench Warrant

About Bench Warrant

A bench warrant is a variant of an arrest warrant, which authorizes the immediate on-sight arrest of the individual subject to the bench warrant. Typically, judges issue bench warrants for persons deemed to be in contempt of court possibly as a result of that person's failure to appear at the appointed time and date for a mandated court appearance. Bench warrants are issued in either criminal or civil court proceedings. Commonly (but not always), the person who is subject to a bench warrant has intentionally avoided a court appearance to escape the perceived consequences of being found guilty of a crime. If a person was on bail awaiting criminal trial when the non-appearance took place, the court usually forfeits bail and may set a higher bail amount to be paid when the subject is re-arrested, but normally the suspect is held in custody without bail.