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What Is the Difference between a Bench Warrant & an Arrest Warrant?


If you’ve heard that there’s a warrant with your name on it, it matters whether it’s a bench warrant or an arrest warrant.

By far, most people are familiar with the concept of an arrest warrant. This is a document issued to law enforcement by a judge once enough evidence has been gathered that leads officers to believe a crime has been committed and a suspect may be responsible for that crime. The arrest warrant empowers law enforcement officers to arrest the suspect and hold them pending charges.

A bench warrant is similar to an arrest warrant but differs in one significant way. With a bench warrant, the court is asking law enforcement to bring someone into custody because a judge believes they have demonstrated contempt for the court or violated its rules.

Common reasons bench warrants are issued include the following:

  • Failing to pay child support
  • Failing to appear for a court hearing
  • Violating probation
  • Failing to appear for jury service
  • Failing to pay a ticket or fine issued by the court

Once a bench warrant is issued, the process of locating the person named on the warrant and arresting them isn’t much different from how it works with an arrest warrant.

If there’s a warrant for your arrest or that of a loved one, we at The Alband Law Firm can help. Our capable attorneys are skilled in handling many different criminal defense matters, including those involving bench warrants and arrest warrants.

If you think you need legal assistance, reach out to us online or call (817) 997-4366. We may be able to help you reduce your charges or even dismiss your case!