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Definition of Bench Warrant

A bench warrant is an arrest warrant issued by a judge or court. Bench warrants allow the police to bring a person to court to appear before the judge. Bench warrants are generally used when a person does not comply with a court order.

A bench warrant is generally filed if the judge demonstrates a ?personal knowledge of the contempt which instigated the warrant.? If this is not the case, the judge generally will wait for an affidavit requesting a bench warrant. A bench warrant is different than a general arrest warrant, which is issued by the police when they have information that someone may be involved in a crime. In some cases it may also be more difficult to get bail after a bench warrant if the court determines the defendant is a flight risk.

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