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 Bench Warrants

Bench warrants are typically issued by the court when someone has failed to appear for a court hearing. A Bench Warrant is the most common type of warrant issued by the court. There are several reasons for a court to issue a Bench Warrant:

  • Failure to appear for Sentence or Conviction (that the warrant could have been issued after there was a plea or trial but before sentence was imposed).

  • Failure to appear in court on the date you were scheduled to appear.

  • Failure to appear on an Open Case (that is you fail to return to court prior to the resolution of you case).

  • Failure to show proof of Community Services or failure to pay a fine.

A Judge will issue a bench warrant for failure to appear in Court "FTA" when you have promised to do so. The bench warrant is then entered into the Department of Justice computer system. If you are stopped by a police officer, a systems check by your driver's license number will reveal the warrant and you will be arrested and brought before the Court. You will typically be denied bail when you have failed to appear on prior occasions.

A Judge will issue a bench warrant for failure to pay a fine. Again, if you are stopped by a police officer, he will locate the warrant in the system and you can be arrested and brought before a Judge.

If the case is a misdemeanor, an attorney from can appear on your behalf, with your permission and you may not have to be present. The bench warrant will be recalled, we will arraign you on the charges that are pending and set a pre-trial date to discuss your case with the District Attorney. Having us handle this for you can eliminate the Judge taking you into custody.

If the case is a felony, you must be present with our attorney in order to recall the bench warrant. When the warrant is recalled in front of the Judge, he may want you to post bail since you have shown him that you will not appear on your written promise. We will attempt to keep you from being taken into custody. If the Judge insists on bail, we can argue for a reduction. In addition, we work with several Bail Bond agencies and we can have them available immediately to work with you on posting the bail. Usually we will have this all set up prior to recalling the warrant if we feel the Judge will demand you post bail.

Consequences of having a bench warrant issued:

Your drivers license can be suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles ("DMV"). Once the FTA is cleared, you will have to pay a fee to get an abstract from the clerk of the court. An abstract is a document issued by the clerk of the court and submitted to DMV to show proof of that the FTA is cleared. Until the FTA is cleared, by recalling the bench warrant and an abstract is issued by the clerk and taken to DMV, your license will be suspended. DMV may also charge you a fee to reinstate your license.

Failure to pay fines can also cause a problem with DMV. This is because they can suspend your driver's license until the fine is paid in full. Once the fine is paid, you will again have to pay a fee for an abstract. The abstract must then be taken to DMV to show proof that the fine has been paid. Again, DMV may require a fee to be paid before they reinstate your license. Contact our office today to discuss your case.

Danny M. Sheena, P.E.

The Sheena Law Firm
2500 West Loop South, Suite 518
Houston, Texas 77027
(713) 224-6508 - Office
(713) 225-1560 - Fax

Email: [email protected]


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