The term bench warrant stems from the fact that the judge is issuing it from his bench in the courtroom and not from his chamber. This warrant is issued for not appearing in court as desired by a court proceeding.
If you fail to appear before the court for any reason when you are supposed to, you will be called for Contempt of court. It is defined as disobedience willfully or disregarding the court’s order to appear which is eventually preventing the court from administering justice.
This order may either be a civil or a criminal warrant. Do not confuse between an arrest warrant and a bench warrant. While the former is a command to arrest an individual if he is guilty, a bench warrant is served for failure to appear (FTA). However, this is not the only reason to serve a bench warrant to you.
Let us find out what are the other reasons for the same now that you know what is a bench warrant!
What are the different circumstances that a bench warrant can be issued against you?
You can receive such a warrant under the following situations. They are-
- If you have not been able to appear for jury duty, you can be served a bench warrant.
- If you were subpoenaed to testify in court for which you have to appear and you fail to do so.
- If you fail to follow a restraining order.
- If you have not been able to make payments for child support as per a court ruling, you are eligible to receive this warrant.
- “Denial of visitation rights” when it comes to the custody of your child is another reason why you can be served this warrant.
Aside from the above reasons, there are reasons for being served the same, however, it is not just limited to them. They are as follows-
- Supposed you are to pay fines but have not been able to do so.
- Not abiding by probation requirements.
- You commit a crime while you are out on a bail.
- If you do not appear for an educational program that was ordered by the court.
- If you have failed to adhere to the conditions of the bail.
What are some of the valid reasons for which you may have failed to appear before the court?
Not everyone fails to appear before the court as per requirement for a proceeding willfully. Few reasons can stop you from the same and these are-
- If you were on your way to appear before the court but meet with an accident.
- Not being aware of the exact court date in your notice.
- Someone in your family died.
- If you as a defendant already have a pre-engagement scheduled for another court hearing.
- You fall seriously sick all of a sudden.
- A natural disaster such as earthquake, tornado, or hurricane strikes.
The reasons above are regarded as valid and outside them, if you fail to appear, as per court order, you will be tried for Contempt of court.