Today's discussion is about an issue that occurs every day at the Van Nuys Criminal Court. It involves cases ranging from simple traffic ticket infraction cases, to serious felonies. There are many causes for bench warrants, as well as a number of possible solutions, as you will see below. As you would expect, a warrant matter is serious and should not be handled without the legal guidance of a Van Nuys Bench Warrant Attorney.
What is a Van Nuys Warrant?
If you have been cited out or have bailed out for a case at the Van Nuys Criminal Courthouse, you have promised to appear in court at a specific date and time. If you don't appear in court at that time, the judge issues a bench warrant (an order to police to arrest you). The judge then sets bail which must be posted for you to be released upon your arrest on the warrant, and law enforcement agencies are then notified of the warrant's existence. Thus, a warrant is the by-product of failing to appear in court.
In the Van Nuys Courthouse, many warrants are issued each day in the arraignment courts, including, Departments 100, 102, and 103. Bail set in warrant cases range from 100s of dollars to $100,000 or more, depending on the circumstances.
What are some common causes of Van Nuys Bench Warrants?
1. Mistaken belief that court was set on another date.
2. Forgot about the case.
3. Out of town.
4. Conflicting schedule, such as work or school.
5. Fear. It is common for someone who has not completed a judge's orders (such as community service) to fail to appear in court.
Many people are under the impression that the court will send notification in the mail to remind them of the scheduled court date, or to let them know they have failed to appear on the required date. However, the court does not have an obligation to notify you about your court date. Thus, if you do not show up to court, the judge will generally issue a bench warrant.
A Van Nuys Bench Warrant creates many immediate problems:
1. It is an order for your arrest
2. You can be taken to jail and required to post bail
3. Failing to appear is a crime, even if you missed court by mistake
4. The judge can add additional punishment
5. Depending on the original charge, DMV may suspend your Driver's License
What are the options for a Van Nuys Bench Warrant?
Strategies depend on the specifics of each case. When I am contacted by a client who has missed a court date, I will evaluate a number of issues.
1. What type of case? DUI, shoplifting, drug possession?
2. Felony, misdemeanor, or infraction?
3. Was there a citation or bail? What stage was the case (arraignment, pre-trial, post-conviction)
4. How long ago was the court date?
5. Why did you miss the original court date?
Once I have a better understanding of the case details and warrant, I immediately contact the court to find out the status of the warrant, and request the court calendar the case as soon as possible. I advise my client about the possible consequences, including arranging bail, if needed, and prepare my client for the bench warrant recall process.
When I go to court, I request the warrant be recalled and quashed. I request bail or O.R. status be reinstated- if the judge is not willing to do this, I ask the judge to set reasonable bail so my client can be released. I explore all possible creative solution options, to try to globally resolve the entire case. I also ask that any DMV license holds created by the warrant be removed by the court.
I think that judges are more understanding when someone appears in court sooner than later in a Van Nuys bench warrant. Voluntarily walking in to Van Nuys Court, rather than waiting for police to make an arrest, provides some good will on a client's behalf, and perhaps a reason for the judge to consider some leniency. Even if my client does not have a legal excuse as to why he or she did not appear in court on the ordered date, the actual explanation may provide the judge a basis for limiting any additional punishment. Every bench warrant case is unique, and should be handled by a Van Nuys Bench Warrant Lawyer.
Copyright © 2016-7 Law Offices of George Kita. All Rights Reserved