Arrest Warrant Guide

California Arrest Warrants

A common plot conflict that television lawyers face is to be held in contempt of court. This usually happens when they've ticked off a judge. As a result they have to pay some kind of fine and are often sent to jail to "cool their heels." But contempt of court isn't just for trial lawyers. You can actually be held in contempt of court without ever stepping inside of a courtroom. If that happens then it means that a California arrest warrant will be sworn out in your name and that can spell big trouble for you.

California Bench Warrants
From a legal standpoint, there are two categories of California arrest warrants. The first type is the bench warrant which refers to that contempt of court violation. Being in contempt of court means that you have failed a particular obligation set forth by the court.

All this talk of "court" is just a formal way of saying a judge. When presented with the violation, a specific judge will be issuing the California bench warrant and it's that judge who you'll need to go in front of to clear up the matter.

Some of the reasons why you would be considered in contempt would be the failure to pay a fine such as a parking or speeding ticket. You could also be fined for littering or some other infraction dealing with your property. Forget about paying those fines and you're in contempt. Skipping alimony or child support payments is another reason where a judge can issue that bench warrant for your arrest.

California Arrest Warrant
The second type of warrant is the arrest warrant. This is also issued by a specific judge but it deals primarily with criminal matters. If you are a suspect in a crime you could have an arrest warrant sworn out in your name as the result of evidence presented against you. This could be an indictment from a grand jury or merely a witness's testimony to the police.

Suppose you accidently ran into a parked car or got into a fight inside a bar but left the scene before reporting it. A witness can come forward and inform the police of your actions. This in turn could result in an arrest warrant.

Technically you don't have to be notified when these California arrest warrants are sworn out in your name. The only time you'll be notified could be when it is too late and you're already under arrest. You might be stopped for a traffic ticket or have a potential employee run a background check. If there is a warrant in your name, it will pop up in the system and you'll be arrested.

Fortunately, you have many resources at your disposal for checking on any outstanding warrants. If you find one in your name, you should contact professional legal counsel and have the matter taken care of right away. You don't want a California arrest warrant hanging over your head.