How to Clear a Bench Warrant Without Going to Jail

Written By: Moermond & Mulligan, LLC

Last Updated: 04-08-2024

Posted on Saturday, March 23rd, 2024 at 8:42 pm    

How to Clear a Bench Warrant Without Going to Jail

An outstanding bench warrant can make you anxious and uncertain about your future. The thought of being arrested and sent to jail when trying to resolve the issue can be daunting. However, you can clear a bench warrant without being thrown behind bars. Understanding what a bench warrant is, the potential consequences, and the steps you can take to get the warrant lifted can help you navigate this challenging situation and move forward with your life.

What is a Bench Warrant?

A bench warrant is an arrest warrant issued by a judge when someone fails to appear in court for a scheduled hearing or trial. Judges can issue bench warrants in both criminal and civil cases, and they authorize law enforcement to arrest the person named in the warrant and bring them before the court.

Common reasons for bench warrants include:

  • Failing to appear for a court hearing
  • Violating the conditions of your bail or probation
  • Not paying court-ordered fines or fees
  • Failing to comply with a subpoena to testify as a witness

Can You Go to Jail for a Bench Warrant?

Yes, you can go to jail for a bench warrant. When law enforcement officers encounter someone with an active bench warrant, they must arrest that person and bring them before the court. Depending on the circumstances that led to the warrant, the judge may decide to hold you in jail until your case is resolved or set a new bail amount for your release.

How to Get a Warrant Dropped

To get a bench warrant dropped or lifted, you’ll need to address the underlying issue that led to the warrant. This typically involves appearing before the court and explaining the circumstances that caused you to miss your court date or violate the conditions of your release.

Here are some steps you can take to get a warrant dropped:

  • Have your attorney contact the court to schedule a hearing to address the bench warrant.
  • Gather evidence or documentation supporting your case, such as medical records or proof of a family emergency that prevented you from appearing in court.
  • Attend the hearing and be prepared to explain the circumstances that led to the judge issuing a warrant. Be honest, respectful, and remorseful if appropriate.
  • If the court agrees to lift the warrant, make note of any new obligations or conditions you must follow to avoid future legal issues.

How Do I Clear a Bench Warrant in Ohio?

The process for clearing a bench warrant in Ohio depends on the court that issued the warrant and the specific circumstances of your case. Generally, you or your attorney will need to contact the court clerk’s office to determine the next steps.

In some cases, you can clear the warrant by paying a bond or fine and scheduling a new court date. In other situations, you may need to appear before the judge to explain why you missed your original court date and request that they lift the warrant.

How Do I Get a Warrant Lifted in Ohio?

To get a warrant lifted in Ohio, you’ll need to take proactive steps to address the reason the warrant was issued. This may involve:

  • Paying any outstanding fines or court costs
  • Attending a missed court hearing or scheduling a new one
  • Providing proof of compliance with the conditions of your bail or probation
  • Demonstrating that there was a valid reason for your failure to appear, such as a medical emergency or family crisis

Your attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence and present a compelling case to the court to lift the warrant.

What is the Penalty for Failing to Appear in Ohio?

How to Clear a Bench Warrant Without Going to JailIn Ohio, failing to appear in court when required is a criminal offense. The penalties for failure to appear depend on the underlying charge and the circumstances of your case.

For minor misdemeanors, failing to appear may result in a fine of up to $150 and a jail sentence of up to 30 days. For more serious offenses, the penalties can be much more severe, including longer jail sentences and significant fines.

Can I Get a State ID with a Warrant in Ohio?

If you have an outstanding warrant in Ohio, you may face challenges when obtaining a state ID or driver’s license. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) may deny your application for an ID or license if you have an active warrant.

At Moermond & Mulligan, LLC, we understand the stress and uncertainty of having an outstanding bench warrant. Our compassionate and knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys are here to help you find the best solution for your unique situation.

If you or a loved one faces a bench warrant in Ohio, don’t wait to seek legal guidance. Contact Moermond & Mulligan, LLC today for a confidential consultation.