If you’re reading this blog post, you’re probably trying to figure out what to do about your Los Angeles County Bench warrant. You’re obviously worried about it. You must be tired of that feeling of dread every time you see a cop. But understandably, you’re afraid to go to court. Are they going to slap handcuffs on you the minute you walk in? Are you going to end up spending time in county? You’re thinking you’d rather live with the worry than risk going to jail. Understandable. But guess what? California Bench warrants never disappear. As a Los Angeles bench warrant lawyer, I routinely handle bench warrants that are 20 years old or more. Dealing with your fugitive warrant is almost never as bad as you think. Here’s some things you should know that may help convince you to deal with your bench warrant once and for all.
1) If you are charged with a misdemeanor and you never appeared at arraignment, you may be able to send a lawyer to appear in court for you. That’s right. In some Los Angeles County courts, a lawyer may be able to show up on your behalf and get rid of the warrants. It all depends on the courthouse handling your case. Some courts, like Airport Courthouse require you to be there with your lawyer (unless you have a really good excuse for not being there). Some courts, like Metro Court on Hill Street, don’t require your presence and will let your lawyer recall your warrant. An experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, will tell you whether you need to be there or not.
2) Showing up to court on your own is always better than being dragged in by the police. What sounds better? Walking in through the front doors of the courthouse freshly-showered and nicely dressed, standing next to your lawyer who has pre-arranged your surrender to the court and worked with you on a strategy to deal with both the warrant and your underlying case OR showing up on the jail bus and walking through the side door of the court in handcuffs and chained to other people with whom you’ve been sharing a crowded holding tank for the past few days? Which do you think the judge will view more favorably? If you’re in custody, you lose a lot of negotiating power. The prosecutor can try to extract a guilty plea from you in exchange for your release from custody. If you have a defensible case, why would you risk that?
3) It’s all about your story. Have a compelling story? Do you have a warrant from old drug cases but now you’ve cleaned up and moved on with your life? Have you overcome physical or mental illness? Been caring for ill family members? Even if your saga is not that dramatic, you’d be surprised. Honesty about your own situation can go a long way. A good lawyer can help you tell your story effectively.
Bottom line: Don’t just worry about your bench warrant. Do something. I have great deal of experience recalling bench warrants in Los Angeles. Call me or send me a confidential email. I will give you an honest opinion about your situation. You can call me at The Law Offices of Jerod Gunsberg at (310) 210-0744 or via email.