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Getting Bail for a Warrant of Arrest

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There are a few potential differences between getting bail for a warrant of arrest and getting out of jail after getting arrested. A warrant of arrest can occur in a couple of situations and basically means you've either ignored or forgotten a court hearing or you are eluding police on a more serious offense. It's important to understand the differences between the two so you can make the best decision.

Difference Between Warrant of Arrest and Arrest

The key difference between the two has to do with the number of times you are involved with the legal system. A good rule of thumb is that the more times you are involved with the legal system, the more severe any punishment and the higher any bail amounts are likely to be. So if you are drinking while driving, that's a serious offense that will often require bail. Part of the bail procedure includes your promise to show up on court on hearings related to that offense. When you don't - no matter the reason - a warrant of arrest will be issued. Since this will now be at least your second involvement with the legal system, the amount of the bail the second time around will almost always be much, much higher.

Two Types of Warrant of Arrest

  • Bench warrant. This is usually issued by a judge when you don't show up for a court hearing on a particular matter, whether it is a misdemeanor or felony. The bench warrant is distributed throughout the area and local police will arrest you as soon as they see you. Getting arrested for a bench warrant, because it is another involvement with the legal system, can often lead to the loss of a driver's license or even being held without the benefit of bail. The decision to hold someone without bail usually only occurs if the offense was very serious or if additional warrants are discovered on your record.
  • Warrant of arrest. A warrant of arrest simply means that you have not yet been taken into custody on an outstanding arrest warrant. Sometimes, you can be identified as a potential criminal in a case and you are not aware there is a warrant for your arrest. There may be no particular repercussions when you are eventually arrested. However, if you are actively eluding police, that could lead to a much higher bail amount or even confinement without bail.

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