The judge may issue a bench warrant on a specific person, but they may never catch the defendant. The police may never catch the defendant simply because they are on the run because they have difficulty identifying the person’s whereabouts. Besides, if the defendant does not turn themselves in, the police officers may never catch him. Regardless of how many years the defendant spends outside, whether with the warranty’s knowledge. There is no expiry to a bench warrant or any other warrant. Regardless of how many years it may take to get a certain defendant, it does not matter, and the court still acknowledges the warranty. The bench warrant does not expire unless the person dies or the defendant appears before the judge.
What is a Bench Warrant?
A bench warrant is issued by the court in response to a failure to comply with some kind of order issued by the judge. In most cases the original order in question will have stated that a person needed to appear in court on a specific day, either to defend themselves or to provide testimony in a case. A failure to appear is viewed as contempt of court, and results in the court issuing the bench warrant calling for the person to be brought back to court. This is also called a “capias warrant”. A police officer can either treat the bench warrant as an arrest warrant and seek out the person that was not compliant with the court order, but in most cases the bench warrant will be most relevant when the person has any type of encounter with the police, even for a minor infraction such as a traffic stop or even going to get a license renewed at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
Is a Bench Warrant Deleted?
Bench warrant does not expire, and they are not automatically deleted after a period the police cannot get the defendant. Therefore, the warrant remains active until when the defendant dies, or the judge recalls for specific reasons.
Advances in Technology
The advancement in technology has helped in retrieving the past warranted case. Technologies such as live scan and access to criminal history make it easy for the police officers and the court to record the bench warrant from slate since the 1970s. Therefore, for fifty years, any warrant issued during this period and the defendants can still be traced back to them. Therefore, if such defendants with a bench warrant are old as fifty years and still living, their bench warrant is still active, and the court still requires them to turn themselves in for a trial and court proceedings.
Active Bench Warrants Mean Missed Opportunities
The problem with having an active bench warrant is that you can miss some opportunities. For instance, if a company is hiring for a certain position and conducting a background check, if you have an active bench warrant, chances are that the company will not hire you. Some companies are keen on their employees’ records since they want to be sure that they are harboring a fugitive or employee with outstanding court procedures.
Do You Have an Active Bench Warrant?
Therefore, to avoid having outstanding warrants that may inconvenience your life, you may want them lifted. People request warrant lifting when they ask them to have the warrant lifted to get the job. Another incident is when the client has the BMV refuse to new their license because of an active warrant. In such an instance, the client must request the judge to lift the warrant to access driving licenses. You may want the judge to lift your bench warrant when you are held at the immigration offices and risk being detained there because of an active warrant. In such a situation, you approach the court and request a warrant lifting to be allowed into the country.
So. Do Bench Warrants Expire?
So when asked the questions, do bench warrants expire? The answer is no. What we recommend is that if you have an outstanding bench warrant, give our office a call as soon as possible at 317-500-4857. An experienced Indianapolis, Indiana criminal defense attorney here to help, call today.