If you get a traffic ticket in Ohio or find yourself facing some other kind of criminal or quasi-criminal charges, you need to appear in court at your scheduled time and place. If you fail to do so, the judge likely will issue a bench warrant for your arrest.

FindLaw explains that the only difference between a bench warrant and a regular arrest warrant is that a judge himself or herself issues the bench warrant, in your case for failure to appear at your scheduled court hearing. Keep in mind that failure to appear represents a separate charge from the one whose court date you missed.

Bench warrant consequences

A bench warrant gives law enforcement officers the right and duty to arrest you whenever and wherever they find you. Once issued, the warrant goes into not only the court’s computer system, but also that of your local police department. And there it stays until your arrest or until your attorney gets it set aside as part of an agreement to produce you in court.

While officers generally have neither the time nor the resources to come knocking at the door of your home or business in order to arrest you on a bench warrant, they can do so if they so choose. The more likely scenario is that they will pull you over and arrest you sometime when you are driving down the street. Remember, your license plate number is one of the pieces of information usually attached to your bench warrant, especially if your underlying charge was some sort of traffic violation.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.