Can Police Enter Your Home with a Bench Warrant in Utah?

Salt Lake City criminal lawyer

If you have a bench warrant out for you in Utah, you may be wondering whether it allows police officers to enter your home. A bench warrant is a warrant issued by a judge authorizing the arrest of a person – usually when they are stopped for another reason. They are issued when a person fails to appear in court, fails to pay a court fine, or files to adhere to the conditions of their probation. A bench warrant only gives police certain rights, though. Continue reading to learn more about whether police can enter your home if there is a bench warrant against you in Utah, how to find out if there is a bench warrant issued against you, and how you can use the help of a Salt Lake City bench warrant lawyer to get a bench warrant cleared.

Police Cannot Enter Your Home with a Bench Warrant in Utah

A bench warrant alone does not usually allow police to enter your home and bring you into custody. However, a bench warrant allows police to bring you into custody if stop you to investigate you for another reason, such as a traffic violation or DUI offense in Salt Lake City. Different aspects about what a bench warrant is and why it is different from a search warrant or an arrest warrant help explain why this is the case.

Bench Warrants in Utah

Bench warrants are issued from a judge’s bench and are only issued if you fail to pay a court fine, fail to show up in court to meet with a judge for a previous arrest, or if you fail to comply with a previous judicial order. A missed court date can lead to a bench warrant for a missed arraignment, trial, sentencing hearing, or something else. A bench warrant for failing to comply with an order can include violating conditions set by probation.

If you are taken into custody for a bench warrant, you will be released on bail or kept in jail. Whether you are kept in jail or issued bail conditions depends on the likelihood that you will actually appear in court. Posting bail and still failing to appear in court is known as “bail-jumping” or “skipping bail,” which is a third-degree felony that can result in a jail sentence that lasts between six months and five years.

How Bench Warrants Differ from Arrest Warrants

Arrest warrants in Salt Lake City allow police to arrest people if they suspect that they have committed a crime. An arrest warrant is issued if police have probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed and that that you committed the crime Only certain circumstances allow police to arrest you without first getting a warrant: a warrant is not needed if you are caught drinking and driving, in the process of committing a crime, or are likely to flee after having committed a crime, destroy evidence, injure someone, or destroy someone else’s property.

Arrest Warrants Do Not Permit Police to Search Your Home

Police will need a warrant to arrest you in most cases, but they will also need a warrant to be able to enter and search your home. Search warrants are issued under different circumstances than bench warrants and arrest warrants. Police can get a search warrant if they have probable cause to suspect that you’re in possession of something illegal or evidence of a crime. Police can search your property without a warrant if you have given them consent to search your property, you are on probation, or there are emergency circumstances. Some emergency circumstances that allow searches include the belief that someone else’s safety is being jeopardized or that you’ll destroy property before they can get a warrant. Items within plain sight can be seized without a warrant as well.

How to See if You Have a Bench Warrant in Utah

It’s possible that there is a bench warrant for your arrest without you knowing it. If you suspect that there is currently a bench warrant out for you, it’s a good idea to check as soon as possible. Any time you missed a court date or never heard back about pending charges, it is likely there is a bench warrant you might not know about. It’s much better for you to find now that you have a bench warrant than it is to find out when you’re already arrested.

You can find out if there’s a bench warrant out for you by using the search tool offered by the Utah Department of Public Safety, which is hosted on their website. Another way to find out is to call the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification. You can also call your county’s clerk of courts.

If you find out that there is a bench warrant for your arrest, you should get in touch with an attorney. An attorney can help you figure out what to do to clear the warrant. To clear a warrant, you may have to schedule a new hearing before a judge and ask them to recall it. Either way, you will still have pending charges for the underlying offense that you also might need an attorney to help you with.

Utah Bench Warrant Attorney Darwin Overson Is Available to Help

If there is a bench warrant for your arrest – or if you suspect that there is one – don’t waste any time getting it cleared. If you let your bench warrant stay on record, you could make yourself susceptible to arrest at any time. Get in touch with an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney from Overson Law to help you get your bench warrants cleared today. Call (801) 758-2287 today to set up a free, confidential consultation.


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