Skip to Content

Best Ways to Face up to a Bench Warrant


It’s been a nagging reality for you for some time. The bench warrant you received years ago that you’ve been trying to forget. You may be tired of worrying if you’ll be included in the next warrant sweep, or very frightened that the recent court date you missed will land you in jail again.

Surrender Early

If you recently missed a court date, it is in your best interests to surrender as soon as possible. When you surrender voluntarily within 30 days of your missed court date, you can avoid additional penalties and charges related to bail jumping.

Get An Attorney

In all cases, retain an attorney experienced with bench warrants to guide you through the surrender process and ensure that you get the best treatment possible. An attorney’s skill can result in a lower bail amount and could even get the bench warrant vacated.

Organize Your Affirmative Defense

If its more than 30 days after you missed your court date, you could be charged with bail jumping. You’re at a disadvantage here, but all is not lost. An affirmative defense is a preferred way to explain your situation if you’re at risk of being charged with bail jumping.

This charge has both misdemeanor and felony levels, depending on what level of crime the original charge was. Here are the defenses that the court in New York allows to answer this charge.

  • Your failure to appear in court on your scheduled date or within 30 days after was beyond your control
  • Your appearance after the 30 day period was the soonest that you were able to do
  • Your failure to appear at your original court date was unavoidable due to circumstances beyond your control

Don’t let a mistake and the resulting failure to appear in court haunt you. A criminal defense attorney can figure out the best way to represent your case so you can get the weight of a bench warrant off of your shoulders and move on with your life.