bench warrant

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Bench Warrant

A process that is initiated by the court pro se in order to attach or arrest a person. An order that a judge, or group of judges, issues directly to the police with the purpose of directing a person's arrest.

A bench warrant is used for attachment or arrest in a case of Contempt, which is the willful disregard or disobedience of an authority such as the court. A bench warrant is also issued when an indictment, which is a written accusation of a person's guilt for an act or omission, is handed down. A third instance where a bench warrant is issued is to obtain a witness who disobeys a subpoena, which is a command to appear at a specified time and place to present testimony upon a certain matter.

bench warrant

n. a warrant issued by a judge, often to command someone to appear before the judge, with a setting of an amount of bail to be posted. Often a bench warrant is used in lesser matters to encourage the party to appear in court. (See: warrant)

See: search warrant

bench warrant

a WARRANT issued by a judge or court directing that an offender be apprehended.

BENCH WARRANT, crim. law. The name of a process sometimes given to an attachment issued by order of a criminal court, against an individual for some contempt, or for the purpose of arresting a person accused; the latter is seldom granted unless when a true bill has been found.