Can a bench warrant be dismissed? 40 Answers as of July 08, 2013

My fiance is supposed to be released from prison in 2 days. He was just told a week ago that he has a warrant and will be sent to county instead. He wasn't even aware of the warrant. It is a bench warrant for failure to appear on a 148.9a in 2007. However he has been in custody since 2000. What is the likelihood that this will be dismissed? What are we looking at here?

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Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
It depends on the charges, the warrant, and the judge. Your fiance should hire an attorney to represent him or request the court appoint him one at his arraignment.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/2/2011
The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC
The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC | Patrick J. McDonnell
A bench warrant can be withdrawn, not dismissed, by the issuing court if you can show good reason why he failed to show and the judge consents. The judge can always reinstate it.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/10/2011
The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
Yes, a bench warrant case be dismissed/cancelled. I would need more facts. It really depends on why he missed court and what the court date was for. For example, if it was a speeding ticket, then he can likely cancel the warrant pretty easily and pay the fine or get credit for time he has already spent in custody. If it was a Failure to Appear for trial on felony charges, then your fiance may be in trouble. It depends.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 10/10/2011
Gonzalez Law Associates P.C.
Gonzalez Law Associates P.C. | Carlos Gonzalez
If he's incarcerated he can not be held liable for not being present and depending on the charge the warrant will be vacated and he may be held during the interim of that other case, be granted bail on it or if it's a very minor charge the judge may opt to dismiss it then and there entirely. Basically it will be the judges discretion.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/10/2011
Greco Law Office
Greco Law Office | Dominic Greco
If you can prove he was incarcerated at the time of the alleged offense he can probably get it dissmissed. Need someone to make the court where the warrant is aware of the situation.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/28/2011
    Iyer Law Office
    Iyer Law Office | V. Iyer
    If he was in custody and can prove that then the Court issuing the warrant will dismiss the warrant and the warrant fee but he will have to face up to the charges that gave rise to requiring his appearance in Court. The burden is on your fiancee to prove why he could not appear and that the failure to appear was for good cause beyond his control or circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    Yes the warrant can be dismissed, but the Judge issuing it would be the only one to do it. He will be served and most likely released on his signature based upon your facts. You should consult with an attorney for help in securing his release.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Levine & McHenry LLC
    Levine & McHenry LLC | Matthew McHenry
    Your fiance may have a speedy trial issue that could lead to a dismissal-if he was in custody in the same state as the county from which the warrant issued, the county did not have to wait 4 years to prosecute this case. That being said, it is unlikely the warrant and/or case will simply be dismissed. Your fianc should hire counsel to represent him on the matter and research the speedy trial issue further, among other possible defenses.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    This is not an Illinois matter, as I am unfamiliar with the code section you are noting in your question, however, he will be transferred to the local county court, and if he has the proof that he was imprisoned at the time he was to appear in court, the warrant will probably be recalled and quashed, however, he will be facing whatever penalty is associated with the violation upon which the warrant was issued. If serious, he should be represented by counsel on that matter.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann
    The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann | Christopher J. McCann
    It is unlikely to be dismissed. He should have sent a demand letter to the DA under Penal Code 1381 to prosecute him or dismiss it within 90 days. Now it is too late. Best thing to do is to have an attorney appear immediately and get the warrant recalled without him there so he doesn't get held longer while they transport him all the way back to court for a misdemeanor.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    Although your fianc was in custody, it is lawful for a warrant to be issued if he missed a court date or some other deadline. If you hire a private criminal defense attorney, she will put your fiance's case on calendar and ask that the judge recall the warrant. Depending on the matter, a new court date will be set.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    It may be dismissed after he appears in Court but as long as there is a warrant, he will be held in jail. If you hire an attorney, he/she may be able to contact the Court and have bail set so he can be bailed out until his court date.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    He will likely be brought to the county jail where the warrant is outstanding. Only the judge where the court is located can dismiss the warrant. It would be possible to have the warrant dismissed prior to your fiance released but you would likely need an attorney to file an appropriate pleading to get this done.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    He will have to appear in court and answer to the bench warrant. It is possible that it could be dismissed if he reason for not appearing is satisfactory to the Court.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    The bench warrant will be dismissed upon his return to the court.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    Assuming it is a misdemeanor charge, your fiance's attorney should be able to take care of it easily. It should have been swept in with whatever other charges he had when he went to prison. If he doesn't have an attorney, get the Public Defender and it should be dealt with quickly.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    What is a 148.9? If there is an active warrant for your husband's arrest, at the time he is to be released, he will be held for a short time period for the county to pick him up. If they do not, he will be let go. He will have to go to that county to take care of his case. If there has been a detainer against him while he was in prison, then he will get credit for that tiime. If there was not a detainer against him, then he will not get credit. I don't know how he could fail to appear in 2007 if he had been in prison since 2000.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Rudolph A. Serra, Attorney
    Rudolph A. Serra, Attorney | Rudolph A. Serra
    First, Michigan Compiled Laws includes no section "148.9a." It would be helpful to know more details. As a judge, I issued hundred of bench warrants and I also dismissed many. Most bench warrants do get dismissed, especially if the target was in jail, or was not notified of the hearing, and comes in voluntarily to respond to the charges. Ironically, failure to respond to a bench warrant can sometimes have more serious consequences than the original charge. I also served as Chairman of the Executive Clemency Advisory Council for the State of Michigan so I know that it is not unusual for the Department of Corrections to fail to properly deal with prisoner warrants. You should get a lawyer to go with your boyfriend to the court, get the warrant recalled, and enter a plea to the charges.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    Anything can be dismissed, however it's unlikely. At least not without showing up, turning yourself in and going before the judge because the matter really can't be resolved until that takes place. He faces jail time, but that doesn't mean he will get it. It all depends on the judge, and the reason why he did not appear. Consider retaining an attorney to help you get the matter resolved.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    He should have been produced on this warrant long ago. They are playing games with him. He needs a food lawyer. I really can't tell you what might happen.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    There's a form he can file with the court where he warranted or with the CDC, I think the number is 1082, requesting that the warrant and charges be dismissed because he served prison time on another case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    Given that he was in custody when the charge is alleged, it would likely get dismissed. Contact the prosecutor's office to discuss the charge to see if the will consider dropping the case.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    He will be transported to county and should have a hearing on the warrant within three days. At the hearing the warrant will be withdrawn and vacated. Because he was in state prison for the last few years including the date he was to appear on the case for the warrant he should get it dismissed and be released.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    There is something called the uniform mandatory disposition of detainers law. If client was never made aware of this pre-conviction detainer by the warden, then it is possible to get the case dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    The simple answer is he still owes that court the opportunity to hold him accountable for that crime. The warrant will not be recalled or quashed until your man appears in court and deals with the charge. He can't deal with the old case unless he goes to court and the court can ensure his appearance by having him brought to court. If he can make a deal and plead it out he may be released soon. If the case is old, and witnesses are unavailable, the prosecutor's office may agree to dismiss the case but he won't know that until he can talk to the prosecutor.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin | Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    The county has 5 days to pick him up on any holds or detainers. there may be bail on the case that you can pay. Or you can wait to see if the county picks him up. How can he get a bench warrant in 2007 if he has been in custody since 2000. That is a misdemeanor false name to a cop case???
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
    Yes. A bench warrant can be recalled. Once the warrant is recalled you then have to deal with the case itself. It is not clear from your question what has happened on the 148.9 case. Did your husband ever appear on that case? Was he convicted? Is he on probation for that case? What you should do is hire an attorney to appear in court to have the warrant recalled and try to resolve the case for any time he has already served in prison if possible. Ultimately, more information is needed to properly evaluate your husband's situation and determine what is the best course of action. I hope this answer was helpful. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    There is an active case which is what caused the bench warrant to issue. The issuing of a warrant tolls the statute of limitations so the prosecutor can pursue the charges at a later date. You dont say what the warrant is for. If it is a serious crime, there is a strong possibility that when your fianc appears in court, the judge will set bail (which could be substantial), in which case if your fianc cant meet the bail, he will go back to jail and be held on this charge. The judge could also say no bail, and he goes to jail. Without knowing the charge, it is impossible for me to say with certainty. Be prepared for more jail time.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Not a chance. A 148.9 will most certainly not be dismissed just because he did state time. The two are completely separate! Just think, just because you robbed the bank, do you think the government will then dismiss a petty theft case? No way..
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo | Matthew Murillo
    The bench warrant will be dismissed once he appears. A warrant isn't a legal charge, in and of itself. It is more like an order to appear "by force". It is an order or the police to arrest and bring the defendant before the court to face the charges. If he knew of the charges, it doesn't matter whether e knew there was a warrant.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    No it cannot be dismissed on its own. You need to hire an attorney and untangle this web. The lawyer will go to Court, speak with Judge and see what the warrant is for, why and how much. Depends on how serious the case is and what county you are in.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    A bench warrant is issued if a person who has been charged with a crime and was in court does not appear for a court date. He would have been given the date when he was in court. If he was incarcerated at the time scheduled appearance the warrant will be withdrawn when he appears if his attorney can show he was incarcerated. Either way, the judge is not likely to give him a jail term, but he may have a high bail set if the case is not resolved at the time of his surrender on the warrant. A bench warrant cannot be dismissed and only the judge who issued the bench warrant can rescind or expunge it.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    You have a pretty good speedy-trial argument if he was in prison in Oregon, but he may be arrested and jailed for a little while as it gets straightened out. An attorney might be able to smooth that process out a bit, so hiring counsel, if you can, might save him a little time in jail compared to when they court appoints an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    A bench warrant may be stayed pending a hearing or quashed at the request of the prosecutor. However, that is unlikely to occur without the assistance of counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Thank you for your inquiry A bench warrant can be recalled under many different circumstances. I am not sure what a 148.9a is all about. However, if there is a warrant, it needs to be addressed. He will be brought to Court and the bench warrant will be considered. It could then be dismissed, understanding that he was in jail at the time. If you had an attorney and a record of incarceration was presented, perhaps the bench warrant would be recalled with the proof of incarceration. However, another court would need to be set to take up the issue that circuit court has with him I hope that this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Ask for a PD when he is brought to court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Swann-Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC
    Swann-Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC | Elizabeth Swann
    If you hire an attorney there is a good chance the attorney can have the bench warrant recalled and have the case reset for another court date.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/8/2013
    Gutin and Wolverton
    Gutin and Wolverton | Harley Gutin
    Yes. You or your lawyer have to go in front of the Judge who issued it and request that it be dismissed. The Defendant does not necessarily have to be present.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/7/2011
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