One simple mistake can lead to your arrest.
How? Well, let’s back up for a second.
Let’s say that you missed your court hearing. You didn’t mean to miss it–you just got the date mixed up. Still, this slip-up resulted in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest. The issue is you didn’t even know you had an active warrant issued against you. In fact, you don’t find out until you run into the police (maybe you get pulled over), and all of a sudden, you’re being taken into custody.
Thankfully, bench warrants can be taken care of with the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Still, it’s important to learn what bench warrants are and what you should NOT do if you have one.
Continue reading to learn about Colorado bench warrants and how Right Law Group can help you.
What Is a Colorado Bench Warrant?
In Colorado, a bench warrant is an order that the courts can issue that authorizes the police to arrest you. A bench warrant is a more common and less severe type of arrest warrant.
Typically, you get a bench warrant for small violations, such as:
- Failing to pay a court fine
- Failure to appear for jury service
- Failing to appear in court
- Failing to follow a court order
Once you are issued a bench warrant, your name will be put into a statewide database. This means that if you run into the police, they will search your name. When they see that you have an outstanding bench warrant, they will take you into custody. You will then have to post bail to be released.
After you’re released, you will be given another court date. If you miss this new date, you will forfeit your bail and receive another bench warrant. To avoid this mess, contact a criminal defense attorney. They can help you take care of your warrant, so you don’t have to.
How Do I Know If I Have a Bench Warrant?
The problem with a bench warrant is that you likely won’t know that you have one. The courts may or may not send you a notice of your bench warrant. If you get a notice, then you can address it accordingly.
If you didn’t receive a notice, how would you know about your warrant?
Well, you usually won’t. At least not until you get arrested or check for yourself. The easiest way to see if you have a warrant is to look your name up on Colorado Warrant Search. Input your information to find out if you have a bench warrant. If you realize that you missed your court appearance, it’s likely that you have a warrant, but you can still do a search.
Can You Pay for Your Warrant? Quashing Explained
Can you pay for your warrant and move on with your life? Technically, you can, but you have to quash the warrant first.
So, what is quashing, and how do you do it?
Quashing is the term coined to describe getting rid of your bench warrant, in other words, getting the courts to cancel the warrant they put out against you. You need to quash your bench warrant to avoid getting arrested and facing the other consequences of a warrant, such as losing your driver’s license.
To quash your warrant, contact a Colorado criminal defense lawyer. They can file a motion to quash your warrant. Once they file the motion, they will appear in court for you to ask the judge to recall your warrant. If the judge agrees, you’ll have to pay a fee, usually around $35, but the warrant will no longer be active against you.
This is the best option to get rid of your warrant and avoid going to jail.
4 Things You Shouldn’t Do If You Have a Bench Warrant
Here are four things you shouldn’t do if you have a bench warrant in Colorado.
#1 Do NOT Ignore It
If you know that you have a bench warrant issued against you, do NOT ignore it. If you ignore it, you’ll eventually be arrested and taken into custody. You will have to post bail to get out, and you’ll have to pay several court fees. In Colorado, you can also get your driver’s license revoked for failing to take care of a bench warrant.
#2 Do NOT Run From the Police
If you haven’t addressed your bench warrant and you come in contact with law enforcement officers, do NOT run away. You may be scared and overwhelmed, but fleeing from the police and not cooperating will make your situation worse. The police can charge you for fleeing, which will add to your penalties.
#3 Do NOT Try to Fly or Travel
Do NOT try to fly or travel with a bench warrant. Places like airports check their databases for warrants, so you will be taken into custody before you reach your flight. However, it may seem like you’re trying to flee the state or country, which will look bad on your record. This will complicate clearing your warrant.
#4 Do NOT Turn Yourself in Without a Lawyer
When you have a warrant, do NOT turn yourself in without a lawyer. It may seem like the easy thing to do, but you need the help of a lawyer to quash your bench warrant. In fact, if you work with an attorney first, you might not have to go to jail at all. So it’s best practice to contact an attorney before turning yourself in.