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Home » Crimes Against Justice Lawyer  » Bench And Arrest Warrant Lawyer

California Bench And Arrest Warrant Attorney | Failure To Appear – Penal Code 1320 PC And 1320.5 PC

My Rights Law Will Help You Reduce The Consequences Of Your Outstanding Bench Or Arrest Warrant

If an arrest warrant or bench warrant has been issued against you in California, or you have otherwise been accused of failing to appear before a judge, then you will want to immediately get in touch with a crimes against justice lawyer at My Rights Law to handle your bench warrant charge. Notably, My Rights Law has a track record of success in handling cases similar to yours. We will carefully review your situation and aggressively defend you. Put your case in the right hands by calling My Rights Law at (888) 702-8882 or leave us a message on our secure contact form to set up a free consultation.

What Are Arrest Warrants?

A warrant gives police legal permission to arrest you and bring you into custody. Most commonly, people are arrested for the commission of crimes. In other situations, a judge might issue a bench warrant if you fail to attend a court hearing as agreed.

Police cannot just arrest you for any reason. Instead, both state and federal law put limits on this ability. If you commit a crime in the officer’s presence, they can generally arrest you without a warrant. But they will need an arrest warrant in all other situations. Usually, law enforcement officers request a warrant from a judge after performing an investigation into a crime and identifying you as the prime suspect.

An arrest warrant should contain specific information to be effective:

  • The name of the suspect
  • The crime they are accused of
  • The time the warrant is issued
  • The city or county where the warrant is issued
  • The judge’s signature
  • The name of the judge’s court[1]

Judges usually issue arrest warrants after a police officer or district attorney makes a declaration in which they establish probable cause. A judge can also issue an arrest warrant after a grand jury indicts someone.

How Do I Know If There Is A Warrant For My Arrest?

Some people have arrest warrants out for them but don’t know it. This means any contact with the police could lead to your arrest. Here is a common scenario: You get pulled over for a traffic infraction. The officer who stopped you calls in your identification and finds out about the outstanding warrant. The officer might be likely to handcuff you and take you to jail.

Specific rules limit where and when police officers can make an arrest.[2] You should quickly contact a lawyer for more information.

Can A California Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me With A Warrant?

Yes. An attorney at My Rights Law can:

  • Investigate the alleged crime and convince the prosecutor not to bring charges in the first place. This means no arrest warrant is issued.
  • Accompany you to court if you wish to turn yourself in voluntarily. For example, you can avoid getting picked up at work, which saves you embarrassment.
  • Argue for bail or release on your own recognizance.
  • Try to convince a judge that your arrest warrant was illegal.

What Is Failure To Appear?

The state expects you to show up to court when commanded. If you don’t, then you’ve committed the crime of failure to appear, which is found in Penal Codes 1320 and 1320.5.

The statute at issue will depend on whether you’ve been released on your own recognizance (1320 PC) or if you are out on bail for a felony charge (1320.5 PC). The laws are very similar.

Under 1320 PC, it is a crime to willfully fail to appear in court when you have been released from custody on your own recognizance.[3] If you are required to go into court for misdemeanor charges, then your failure to appear will be an fta misdemeanor. However, if you are due in court for felony charges, your willful failure to appear is an fta felony.[4]

What Are The Penalties For Failure To Appear?

Penalties are very steep. A misdemeanor conviction carries up to six months in county jail and a fine. By contrast, a felony conviction carries a jail or prison sentence of one to three years. These punishments are just for failing to appear. You can also face additional penalties for the substantive offense that required you to go into court in the first place. Talk with a criminal defense lawyer about the specific consequences you face.

You can be charged for failing to appear for your:

  • Arraignment
  • Trial
  • Sentencing

If you are out on bail and then willfully fail to appear, you could face a felony charge under 1320.5.[5]

Contact Our California Bench Warrants Attorneys Quickly

Was a bench warrant issued against you for missing a court date? If so, please contact an experienced bench warrant attorney at My Rights Law who can vigorously advocate for your freedom. A California bench warrant lawyer at My Rights Law will answer your questions on California law relating to bench warrants and other outstanding warrants, including how you could be affected. To learn more, call us at (888) 702-8882 today or fill out our secure web form.

Other crimes against justice we defend include: Evading Arrest, False Police Report

[1] California Penal Code 815 PC.
[2] See PC 840 (limiting time of arrest for felonies and misdemeanors).
[3] California PC 1320.
[4] California PC 1320.
[5] California PC 1320.5.

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