Can I get rid of a bench warrant without doing jail time?

I get calls almost every week about bench warrants. The callers want to know if they can get rid of their bench warrant without getting arrested or serving any time in jail.

When you miss a court date, the judge may issue a bench warrant for your arrest. This warrant allows any law enforcement office to arrest you and hold you in the county jail until you are brought before the judge who issued the warrant.

However, there are ways to avoid being arrested and held in the jail. Occasionally, a court date is scheduled but you haven't received notice through no fault of your own. I've had success in filing a motion and asking the judge to set aside the warrant because you were never told to appear in court.

I have also been successful in scheduling a "walk in" date with the court and prosecutor. There is good case law in Georgia that says the purpose of a bench warrant is to get you back in front of the judge, and that once you're in front of the judge there is no reason to arrest you.

Every situation is different. If you've missed a court date and have an active bench warrant for your arrest, call me at 678-666-4104.