How Long Do You Have to Turn Yourself in For a Bench Warrant in Utah?
Bench warrants are a type of warrant that is issued when someone fails to pay a court fine, fails to appear in court when ordered to, or fails to adhere to the conditions set in their probation. They are issued from a judge’s bench and usually lay dormant until a person has contact with police for another reason, such as a traffic stop or DUI. If you have a bench warrant, you can turn yourself in at any time, though you should seek the help of an attorney first. Keep reading to learn more about what a bench warrant is, how you can get yours resolved, and how Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney Darwin Overson can help you get your warrant dropped and address your underlying charges.
Dealing With a Bench Warrant in Utah
If you discover that there is a bench warrant out for your arrest, you can turn yourself in for as long as the warrant exists. However, the best thing to do after discovering that you have a bench warrant in your name is seek the help of an experienced Salt Lake City bench warrant lawyer who can work to get your bench warrant dropped, schedule a new court date for you, and address the underlying charges that led to the bench warrant.
If you choose to ignore the bench warrant, you make yourself susceptible to more complications if you are arrested for a separate reason. You can either appear in court alone or with an attorney, although it will benefit your case to appear in court with a lawyer by your side. When you turn yourself in, you show the court that you have a low chance of being a flight risk, which means that it is not likely that you will be kept in custody. However, the way that the court treats you when you turn yourself in for a bench warrant depends on the seriousness of the reason for your bench warrant.
When you appear in court after learning about a bench warrant, there are a few things that can happen. You may be released with a warning, in which case your bench warrant will no longer be valid. You could also be incarcerated without bail, which means that you will be kept in police custody until your hearing with no chance of being released. It’s also possible that you could have bail set for you after appearing in court for your bench warrant. If you post bail and are released and then fail to appear in court, you will face charges for “skipping bail” or “bail-jumping,” a misdemeanor in Utah punishable by up to 6 months in jail or a $1,000 fine.
If you appear in court with your attorney, they may be able to present an excuse for your initial failure to appear in court or failure to comply with a court order. If the excuse is acceptable, you may be released, or your bail may be set at a low amount. Acceptable reasons for failing to appear in court or comply with a court order include: the notice was sent to an address that isn’t yours, you had completed all of the conditions of your probation and weren’t aware that you still had to appear in court, you missed a drug test because you were ill or suffered an accident, or you were not aware that charges were filed against you.
Why Bench Warrants are Issued in Salt Lake City
The purpose of a bench warrant is to give police the authority to take you into custody and be brought before a judge. They are issued from a judge’s bench and are given to people who have failed to comply with a previously issued judicial order, failed to appear in court following a previous charge, failed to pay a court fine, or failed to adhere to conditions set in accordance with probation.
If a bench warrant is issued against you, police do not have the authority to come to your home to arrest you. Bench warrants do, however, give police the authority to bring you into custody if you have been arrested for another reason, such as a DUI or traffic violation.
How to See If You Have a Bench Warrant in Utah
If you missed a court date and you suspect that there is a bench warrant for your arrest, you should check to see if it exists as soon as possible. It’s better to find out that you have a bench warrant now, when you have time to deal with it, than later, when it can complicate an already-stressful encounter with law enforcement.
If you would like to find out whether there is a warrant out for your arrest in Utah, you can find out using a few different methods. One way you can find out if you have a bench warrant is to use the search tool provided by the Utah Department of Public Safety. The tool is hosted on their website. You can also find out if you have a bench warrant by calling the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification or getting in touch with the clerk of courts for your county.
Utah Bench Warrant Attorney Darwin Overson Is Available to Help
If you discover that there is a bench warrant out for your arrest, the best thing you can do for yourself is to make an appearance in court as soon as possible. It’s most advantageous to use the knowledge of an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you understand your charges and to negotiate with the court. Get in touch with Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney Darwin Overson as soon as possible to discuss your legal situation. Call Overson Law, PLLC, today at (801) 758-2287.