Temple Bench Warrant Attorney
If the police come knocking on your door, they might have a bench warrant for your arrest. Bench warrants are issued by a judge usually for disobeying a court order. Getting arrested on a bench warrant is more than an inconvenience, it can also carry criminal penalties, including months (or more) in jail. Please contact the Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC today for legal assistance with Temple bench warrants.
Why Judges Issue Bench Warrants
Bench warrants are most commonly issued when a person fails to appear in court. For example, you might have been arrested for a crime but then released on the condition that you show up to a later court hearing. If you skip the hearing, a judge might issue a bench warrant to drag you in.
In other situations, a judge might issue a bench warrant if you refuse to pay child support or alimony or if you violate some other court order, like an order of protection. The judge issues a bench warrant, and the police can come arrest you.
Of course, the police are busy, and they might not locate you for some time. But the bench warrant will still be out there in effect. Often, police pull people over for a traffic offense (like a blown light) and then check to see if any bench warrant is outstanding. They can then take you into custody.
Criminal Penalties for Failure to Appear
If you are arrested for failure to appear, then you face two legal problems: the alleged crime which resulted in your arrest in the first place, and the failure to appear violation on top of it. Both carry penalties.
For example, you might have been arrested for DWI but then released. If you skip out on your next court appearance, you face penalties not only for the DWI but also for failure to appear at your hearing.
In Texas, the penalty for failing to appear will depend on the circumstances:
- If your underlying crime is a felony, then failure to appear can be charged as a third-degree felony, with a maximum penalty of $10,000 in fines and/or 10 years in jail.
- If the underlying crime is punishable only with a fine, then any failure to appear is a Class C misdemeanor. This carries a maximum fine of $500 and no jail time.
- Other underlying offenses will result in a Class A misdemeanor charge. A defendant is looking at a maximum of one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
Remember, these penalties will be added to any that you suffer if convicted of the underlying offense. Time in jail can quickly add up, which is why it is vital to meet with a seasoned criminal defense attorney.
Contact Our Temple Bench Warrants Lawyer for More Information
It is possible to avoid a conviction for failure to appear, but you need a valid excuse. Working long hours or simply forgetting rarely cuts it with a judge.
Don’t let missing a court hearing result in months in jail. Contact attorney Katie L. Gomez today for a free, confidential consultation. She is a tireless advocate on behalf of her clients and will do everything possible to achieve a just result for her clients.