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Bench Warrant

A warrant issued by the Court for the arrest of a particular person. This type of warrant is issued in a case of contempt, or to bring in a witness who fails to obey a subpoena.

Question: Bench Warrant? I have a bench warrant since 2003 from Los Angeles Superior Court. I never received anything by mail or else, because I leave in France since 2002... I'm a french citizen and I would like to go back to the US to visit my friend in Miami. Do you think I can get arrrested at the airport? What can they do to me ? thank you for your help Laura

Answer: Because of 9/11, every person that enters the US is ran through the NCIC, (National Crime Information Center/Computer), the Bench Warrant could show up. But since it is five years old it might not. I would call the Clerk of Courts - Criminal Division of the Los Angles Superior Court and find out if there is an active bench warrant for you. If so, you might be able to get them to lift it because it is five years old. (A bench warrant is issued when a person fails to make an appearance in Court. If you were charged with a serious crime and did not show up for court, this bench warrant might not get lifted. If it was to testify or a misdemeanor charge, I believe you will be alright. Call the Clerk of Courts.)


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