Recall Your Warrant in Los Angeles

April 29, 2016

Contrary to popular belief, police departments do not issue warrants for your arrest. Instead, a warrant is issued by the court typically when you fail to appear. Moreover, if you were cited or arrested for a crime, then a court date will be scheduled for your arraignment to formally be advised of the charges against you. If you fail to show up to court, the judge will issue a bench warrant for your arrest. Afterwards, the court will update its system signaling to all law enforcement agencies around the country that you failed to show to court. Law enforcement will then arrest you and you may unfortunately have to address the judge while in custody. There are generally three types of warrants: search warrants, arrest warrants, and bench warrants. All three must be authorized by a judge. This article however, will address bench warrants and the procedure for recalling it.

As noted above, bench warrants are issued when you fail to appear before the judge in regards to an outstanding case. Some examples include: failing to appear for a traffic citation, failing to pay your fine amount, and failing to appear when the judge has ordered you to appear previously. When a bench warrant is issued, your driver’s license will automatically become suspended. Therefore, if you’re subsequently pulled over by a police officer, they can immediately arrest you for the outstanding warrant, and additionally arrest you for driving on a suspended license.

Only a judge can recall your bench warrant. This requires your personal appearance before the court. Once you appear, the warrant will be recalled and quashed. A warrant issued for an infraction can be recalled through your attorney. In other words, you can hire an attorney to appear on your behalf relieving you from addressing the judge in person.

A misdemeanor bench warrant can be tricky. Courthouses and even individual judges have their own requirements when recalling a warrant. Some judges require your personal appearance whereas other judges will recall your warrant if your attorney appears on your behalf. If you’re attorney appears, they may be able to argue that the warrant should be recalled without your presence because you, for example, live out of state, you’re hospitalized, military duty, or perhaps the misdemeanor offense is minor – e.g., public intoxication. However, more serious offenses, such as battery, domestic violence, or even DUI, typically require your appearance. As stated above, it’s discretionary on the individual judge.

Felony bench warrants require your personal appearance. Your attorney cannot appear on your behalf. Because felonies are far more serious than misdemeanors and infractions, your appearance is necessary to ensure that you’re behaving yourself while on bail and that you haven’t been arrested for any other crimes.


If you have an outstanding warrant, then contact a Los Angeles Warrant Attorney at the Law Offices of John D. Rogers about the process of recalling your warrant to avoid jail and move forward in your life. The consultation is free and there are no obligations. Our office handles warrant recall matters in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura, and Riverside counties.

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