failure to appear in Court in DC and a warrant was issued

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failure to appear in Court in DC and a warrant was issued?

Failure to appear for a court appearance in a criminal case in the District of Columbia can result in a bench warrant for your arrest and an additional criminal charge called Bail Reform Act Violation.   Bail Reform Act Violation can be a misdemeanor or felony depending upon the underlining offense for which you failed to appear.  

So you failed to appear in Court in DC and a warrant was issued?  So what happens now.  Well, it could have been oversight but now you have to deal with this.   A bench warrant is order issued by a judge authorizing the arrest of a person charged with a crime.  If a warrant is issued its probably better to contact a criminal lawyer who can walk with you into the Court house to resolve the matter.    Feel free to read our article if you fail to appear at a civil protection order.

What is a bench warrant?

In the District of Columbia a bench warrant refers to a warrant that is issued from “the bench”which means the Judge.    A Bench Warrant is an order from a Judge directing any police officer to arrest a person and bring him or her before the Court.   A bench warrant is usually issued for:

  • failing to appear for a court hearing
  • failing to pay a fine
  • failing to obey a Court Order
  • failure to pay child support after a hearing
  • failure to appear for a citation after signed notice in front of police officer

Where do I find out if I have a bench warrant in DC Superior Court

DC Superior Court has recently starting posting online all active warrants.   If your name is on the list you should contact a failure to appear lawyer in Washington, DC.  Please note that arrest warrants are not on this list.

How do I Recall or Quash the bench warrant that was issued?

How you clear up a bench warrant?  There are two options: 

  • You can walk into DC Superior Court, located at 500 Indiana Avenue, NW Washington, DC.  Go to room C301 in the basement of the Courthouse. 
  • You can file a written motion with the Court asking the Court to quash/recall the warrant

Is Failure to Appear Serious?

Yes, Failure to Appear in Court is serious because you agreed to come to Court and you did not appear.   If you signed notice to appear in Court in front of a Judge you have essentially disobeyed a Court order.  

What is the Penalty for Failure to Appear in DC Supeior Court?

The additional charge for Failure to Appear in Court is called a Bail Reform Act Violation.  

Misdemeanor

If you failed to appear for a misdemeanor in the District of Columbia you could be charged with Bail Reform Act Violation.  Bail Reform Act Violation(misdemeanor) carries a maximum penalty of imprisoned not less than 90 days and not more than 180 days and/or $1000.00 dollar fine.    

Felony  

If you failed to appear for a Felony in the District of Columbia you could be charged with Bail Reform Act Violation.  Bail Reform Act Violation (Felony) carries a maximum penalty of imprisoned not less than one year and not more than five years and/or $25,000.00 dollar fine.

Do Failure to Appear Warrants Expire?

Felony warrants do not expire.  Misdemeanor usually require the Judge to reissue after a year.  Warrant expiration in the DC Code § 23–563.

What do I do If its an arrest warrant instead of a bench warrant?

Arrest warrants is a document, signed by a judge which authorizes a police officer to take the person into their custody after there is probable cause to believe you committed a criminal offense.   Upon taking the person into custody they will take the person to a Judge to determine release conditions.    Unlike a bench warrant, An arrest warrant can be cleared by reporting to the police department where they execute the warrant and take you to the Courthouse.    The best way to clear an arrest warrant in the District of Columbia is to report to Metropolitan Police Department in the District of Columbia at 5:30 am so that they can process you.    

What happens after the warrant is quashed /recalled?

If you failed to appear for a misdemeanor or felony you could be charged with another offense in the District of Columbia called Bail Reform Act Violation.    This is one of the benefits in hiring an attorney before you turn yourself in.  The reason being that anything you say to anyone could be used against you.   Hiring the attorney, the attorney becomes your voice.  

Can I get another charge for failure to appear in Court?

After the warrant is recalled, you will still have to deal with the case that caused the warrant to be issued.  For example, if you had a warrant for simple assault, you will now have to deal with that case.  

How do I go about hiring your firm to represent me?

Failure to appear in court in DCIts as simple as picking up the phone and callling us.   We will meet you at the Courthouse or draft a motion and resolve your matter.

TRANSCRIPT FROM VIDEO

Failure to Appear in Court in DC and a warrant was issued what to do.

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Mark Rollins, I’m an attorney here in Washington, D.C. I practice at the Law Firm of Rollins and Chan. Today we’re going to be discussing failure to appear in court and having an outstanding bench warrant.

Now, a bench warrant can be issued for one of two reasons. You could either have a pretrial bench warrant or a probation bench warrant that’s been issued. Now, if it’s a pretrial that means three things could have happened to issue a pretrial bench warrant.

One is that you failed to appear after you were pulled over by the police and you agreed to sign a notice with that police officer, and you’ve given him notice that you will appear in court on a certain day. Then you fail to appear. A warrant can be issued for that situation.

The second reason is that you failed to appear after you appeared in court, but then the court told you that there’s going to be another court appearance and you failed to appear for that court appearance. A bench warrant can be issued in that situation.

Then, lastly, on a pretrial, a bench warrant could be issued if you were on pretrial and you violated conditions of your release. The court typically sends notice to you that they’re going to have a hearing on your violation of conditions of release, and then you failed to appear at that hearing. Again, in that situation, a bench warrant has been issued.

Now, if your bench warrant was issued for probation, what typically happens in a probation bench warrant is that you failed to appear. After the probation officer has sent notice to the court, they set a hearing down, and you failed to appear for that hearing. So the judge, the court issued a bench warrant for you for failure to appear at that hearing.

Now, what to do if you have an outstanding warrant? Well, the first thing you want to do is you want to contact a criminal lawyer. A criminal lawyer can do one of two things. They can file a motion with the court to quash or recall the warrant, and they will follow that in paper and send it through the normal process.

Or, the lawyer can simply walk you into the courthouse, walk you to the judge and pretrial services who issued the warrant, and they’ll walk you right into that courtroom for the judge who issued that warrant. Now, that’s typically only done on pretrial warrants, not on probation warrants. But either way, that lawyer can help you and assist you get through this problem. So I hope that helps, and stay tuned and stay in contact with our channel. Thanks for watching.

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