Felony arrest warrant by court or police
Penal Code Ann. A bench warrant literally directs the police to arrest you and bring you before the court.
What To Do When You Are Arrested
When police arrest a person on a bench warrant, the person typically will be taken to jail and held there until the judge is available for a hearing. In addition to appearing before the judge, you may face a new criminal case involving the charge of failure to appear. The crime of bail jumping or failure to appear is a misdemeanor or a felony in Texas, depending on the underlying crime with which the defendant was charged.
A third degree felony is punishable by two to ten years in prison.
In addition, if you fail to appear for a jury trial, a separate Texas law allows the court to charge you for the costs of convening the jury panel on the day you failed to appear. Code Crim.
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The Texas statute defining bail jumping and failure to appear lists specific defenses to this crime. A reasonable excuse involves serious circumstances that prevented the defendant from appearing in court, such as an automobile accident, being in the hospital, death of a family member, or not receiving proper notice of the court date.
Forgetting or being mistaken about the court date, a lack of transportation or child care, or having to work probably will not be considered reasonable excuses. This defense also requires that the defendant report to the court as soon as he is able because he must have a reasonable excuse for being absent from the time he is required to appear until he does appear or is apprehended. Another defense to the crime of bail jumping and failure to appear is a claim that the requirements of probation or parole, or a jail sentence in another case, prevented the defendant from appearing at court.
For instance, if the defendant was in jail in another county or state or was unable to appear in court because of a required meeting with a probation or parole officer, the defendant likely would not be convicted of bail jumping or failure to appear.
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A judge may also excuse a defendant who fails to appear for a jury trial from paying the cost of impaneling the jury. A bench warrant is a warrant for your arrest and allows the police to take you into custody almost anywhere at any time. The police can come to your home, your work or place of business, or a social event and arrest you.
You also can be arrested if a police officer discovers the warrant during a traffic stop for even a minor traffic violation. A conviction for bail jumping or failure to appear becomes part of your criminal record and can affect your conditions of release if you are charged with another crime in the future. The conviction will appear in any background checks for employment or housing.
A conviction for failure to appear can even be used in the trial for the underlying criminal charge as evidence of consciousness of guilt.
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The prosecutor can argue that you fled the jurisdiction, for instance, because you knew you were guilty of the underlying crime and would likely be convicted. If you learn that a court has issued a bench warrant for your arrest, you should contact an attorney immediately for legal advice. An experienced criminal defense attorney can contact the court on your behalf, possibly arrange for you to appear in front of the judge rather than be taken into custody, and assist you in preparing a defense or addressing sentencing if you are formally charged with bail jumping or failure to appear.
The information provided on this site is not legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the site.
The officer shall arrest the person whom the officer believes to be the primary physical aggressor. In making this determination, the officer shall make every reasonable effort to consider: A The intent to protect victims of domestic violence under RCW The request by the witnessing officer shall give an officer the authority to take appropriate action under the laws of the state of Washington. For purposes of this subsection, the term "firearm" has the meaning defined in RCW 9. All amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1. For rule of construction, see RCW 1.
Finding — c See note following RCW 9.
Findings — c See note following RCW Intent — c "The legislature intends to improve the lives of persons who suffer from the adverse effects of domestic violence and to require reasonable, coordinated measures to prevent domestic violence from occurring. The legislature intends to give law enforcement and the courts better tools to identify violent perpetrators of domestic violence and hold them accountable.
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The legislature intends to: Increase the safety afforded to individuals who seek protection of public and private agencies involved in domestic violence prevention; improve the ability of agencies to address the needs of victims and their children and the delivery of services; upgrade the quality of treatment programs; and enhance the ability of the justice system to respond quickly and fairly to domestic violence. In order to improve the lives of persons who have, or may suffer, the effects of domestic violence the legislature intends to achieve more uniformity in the decision-making processes at public and private agencies that address domestic violence by reducing inconsistencies and duplications allowing domestic violence victims to achieve safety and stability in their lives.
Short title — c See RCW 7. Application — c See note following RCW Short title — c See RCW Severability — c See note following RCW