What You Need to Know About Bench Warrants in South Carolina

When you learn about an active warrant out against you, it’s completely normal to transform into a ball of stress, anxiety, and panic. This is because, like most people, you probably assume you have a warrant out for your arrest. However, there is a type of warrant that is not directly of a criminal nature, and that is known as a “bench warrant.”

How Do Bench Warrants Work?

When you have a bench warrant out against you, a judge has determined that you need to appear before him or her (or, possibly, another judge). Generally speaking, the reason for the issuance of a bench warrant is someone not showing up at a required court appearance. This could mean a defendant who is found guilty of a crime does not show up at his or her sentencing hearing or the subject of a subpoena simply ignores the court order. General sessions court is not lenient, either. It doesn’t matter if you made every other court appearance; miss one and the judge will make sure you make up the appearance soon. 

Ignoring a bench warrant does not solve your problem. The most sensible thing to do is to speak with a qualified attorney so the two of you can negotiate your surrender. You will be placed in jail until the judge is available to see you. You cannot bond out, as is possible for those charged with a crime. With the help of your attorney, though, there is a real possibility you can have the bench warrant rescinded so you don’t have to sit in jail. 

What Can an Attorney Do?

Smart attorneys understand the right tone to strike when negotiating with the prosecution. This is generally not the time to go scorched-earth against the state of South Carolina, but a wise attorney will be able to discern the best way forward. If your attorney is able to convince the prosecutor that the bench warrant should be rescinded, both parties will submit a consent order to the judge. The judge will either agree to the consent order or decide you should stay in jail. 

If you had a medical emergency or other good reason for missing your court date, communicate this to your attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney needs all the context and information you can provide so he or she can cast you in the best possible light in front of the prosecution and judge. 

Get the Help of an Experienced Attorney Now

You or a loved one shouldn’t have to sit in jail due to a simple miscommunication about a court date or other circumstances that don’t necessitate a bench warrant. Cate & Brough, P.A. stands ready to fight tirelessly for justice so you can be reunited with your family. You don’t have a second to spare; get in touch with our team here

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Cate & Brough, P.A.

At Cate & Brough, we all have personal experience with family law and family court. We know more than just what the law says about your issue – we know what you are going through.

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