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So you’ve been served a bench warrant

A common criminal defense question I’m asked is about bench warrants and what people who have a bench warrant can do to keep themselves out of jail and get their issue resolved as soon as possible. If you have a bench warrant, call criminal defense attorney Gary Gerson and stop those sleepless nights, worrying about when and where you’ll be arrested. If you want some free advice, please understand that an arrest is inevitable and you will go to jail the next time you are stopped by a police officer. Here in Pennsylvania, a bench warrant is a court order directing law enforcement to arrest a person as soon as they have confirmed that person’s identity. A bench warrant can be issued for anything from unpaid parking citations to felonious assault charges. Generally, people are taken to jail because of their bench warrant after a routine traffic stop or at an airport when trying to leave the country. Most often, a bench warrant is issued when someone fails to show up for a court appearance. If you’re lucky, you can see a judge right away, but if you’re arrested during the weekend, or, say, out of state and on vacation, you may have to wait several days, weeks, or even months before you are able to see a judge. Once you are able to see a judge, your warrant will be lifted and, at that time, the judge will decide whether or not you will remain detained and wait for another hearing, or if you will be let go. If you are released, it is likely that the judge will set a cash bail amount to be paid before you’re let go. The most important thing to understand is that no amount of time can negate your bench warrant. It is not a problem that will go away on its own. And it is nearly impossible to avoid your warrant. As a rule, we always tell our clients that if it isn’t taken care of as soon as possible, you will be caught and arrested at the worst conceivable moment. If you believe that you may have a bench warrant out for your arrest, please contact Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney Gary E. Gerson at 412-219-6875 for a free consultation today.

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