When Failure to Appear Warrant’s Are Typically Issued in DC

The following is information on bench warrant in Washington, DC and when they are most commonly issued for failing to appear. If you have a warrant out for your arrest it is likely in your best interest to call and schedule a free consultation with a failure to appear lawyer in DC.

What Does it Mean to Have a ‘Failure to Appear’ Warrant Issued For An Individual’s Arrest?

When you are not being held in jail while your criminal case is pending, you are required to sign a notice promising that you will appear at your next court hearing.

Unless you are specifically granted permission by your judge to not appear, you are required to be present at every court date. If you are not present your judge can issue a warrant for your arrest. This type of warrant is called a Bench Warrant because the judge issues it while sitting on the Bench in open court.

When a judge issues a Bench Warrant, he has the option of setting a bond amount, which is the amount of money a person needs to pay in full in order to be released from custody in the event that you are arrested on the warrant. The judge can also make your Bench Warrant a no bond Bench Warrant, in which case if you are arrested on the Bench Warrant, no amount of money will be able to get you released.

Under Which Circumstances Are Bench Warrants Typically Issued?

Bench Warrants are typically issued if you are not present for a hearing for which you previously signed a notice promising to appear. It would not matter if your attorney showed up for you at your hearing instead of you. This is unless your judge specifically said that you do not have to show up or granted a request to waive your presence prior to the hearing.

In the event that some inconceivable circumstance takes place such as a sudden medical emergency which prevented you from being able to appear for your hearing, your lawyer can make those representations and provide any appropriate documentation to your judge to try to avoid the issuance of the Bench Warrant.

When Have You Seen Failure to Appear Warrants Issued in Most Cases in DC?

Failure to Appear Bench Warrants most often occur by accident when people simply misread or misunderstand or just forget the date that they are supposed to appear in court. Sometimes that happens when a person lives far outside the district or maybe even outside the US and was not able to arrange travel back to D.C. for their hearing.

I have also seen Bench Warrants being issued if some kind of circumstance is preventing you from being able to appear like you are hospitalized or maybe you are incarcerated in a different case.

If you are on probation because you have already plead guilty or you have been found guilty of another crime and you are alleged to have violated some condition of your probation.

The court in those circumstances could mail you an order for you to appear for a Show Cause hearing, which is a hearing to answer for some alleged violation of your probation. If you do not appear for a Show Cause hearing your judge can issue a Bench Warrant for your arrest even though you never signed any promise to appear in court. You just received a notice to appear in the mail.