Arrest Warrants, Bench Warrants, And Failure To Appear
Arrest warrants are issued by a judge and allow law enforcement to take you into custody whenever they come in contact with you or while specifically seeking you out to come before the court to face charges.
An arrest warrant originates with a law enforcement investigation and their presentation of evidence that a person has committed a crime. The police officer delivers their evidence to a judge who, if they have found probable cause, will charge a person with a crime and issue an arrest warrant.
A bench warrant can be issued directly from the judge for violating a court order—including the order to appear before the court. Failure to appear for court in Utah on speeding tickets, minor traffic penalties, or any other citation will result in a class B misdemeanor. A class B misdemeanor can be punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.
Bench warrants are also issued for failure to fulfill obligations of probation or community supervision, such as classes or paying fines.
If you are pulled over while you have a bench warrant, you may be arrested on the spot, but you are still entitled to refuse a search of your vehicle with no probable cause.
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