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Bench Warrant

Definition - What does Bench Warrant mean?

A bench warrant refers to a specific type of arrest warrant that is issued by a sitting judge or magistrate. A bench warrant authorizes law enforcement to arrest an individual who is in contempt of court. It is immediately effective, and it can be authorized in both criminal and civil cases.

Justipedia explains Bench Warrant

A bench warrant is always issued as a result of an individual being held in contempt of court. An individual can be held in contempt of court for many different reasons, but the most common reason for the issuance of a bench warrant is the failure of an individual to appear in court. While a bench warrant is always issued by a judge or magistrate, most other types of arrest warrants are given out directly by law enforcement.

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