FAQ’s About Shelby County Bench Warrants

Most crimes, except for murder and other very serious offenses, have a statute of limitations. In most misdemeanors, the statute of limitations is only a year or two. But Shelby County warrants never expire https://www.tncourts.gov/rules/rules-criminal-procedure/4. Once issued, they remain active until served.

So, as you can imagine there are plenty of people who have outstanding warrants and do not even know it.  Unfortunately, many jurisdictions will not verify whether or not you have a warrant without you physically coming into the police station.  However, some jurisdictions do verify warrants over the phone or allow you to search a database online.

To find out if you’re on this dreaded list, you can contact each individual law enforcement agency in Tennessee, wait on hold (and for probably a long time) and ask for the information you need.  For some jurisdictions, such as Shelby County, Tennessee, you can look online on their warrant search database. Or, you can ask United Bonding Company (bail bonds near me) to perform an active warrant search, and you’ll know the results within minutes.

What’s the Difference Between a Bench Warrant and an Arrest Warrant?

Arrest warrants usually involve felony infractions, like aggravated assault or drug trafficking. Typically, after the grand jury issues an indictment, a judge issues an arrest warrant. That’s assuming the defendant has not been arrested on that charge previously and already made bail. Bench warrants, on the other hand, usually involve the violation of a court order, like a missed court appearance. Moreover, once they are executed, bench warrants compel appearance before a certain judge. That being said, some of the normal or standard court appearance procedures at 201 Poplar Avenue in Memphis may not apply in these situations.

How Do I Take Care of a Bench Warrant?

The first thing to do if you have a bench warrant is to call your attorney.  He or she can often take you into the courtroom and get you a new court date.  

Sometimes, a defendant with a warrant has not yet been able to hire an attorney.  In situations such as this, a defendant can also turn him or herself in and pay the entire amount of the warrant in cash or work with a bondsman at United Bonding Company or another bonding company or his or her choosing and obtain a surety bond. If you deposit the entire amount with the jail, the court usually refunds most of the balance when the case is resolved. A surety bond usually only requires a nonrefundable premium, which is generally 10%  percent of the bail amount and they might be able to finance a portion of the premium for you.

If you are already out on a bail bond with United Bonding Company, in most instances, we will work with you through your attorney to get your warrant recalled. In these instances, you will usually not have to make a new bail bond. Please understand that you must show a willingness to openly communicate and cooperate with the bail bond company in order to get your bench warrant recalled.  Otherwise, you are at risk of being arrested by your bondsman.

How Are Bench Warrants Served?

In this context, bench warrants are just like arrest warrants. Typically, the warrant goes into the law enforcement database. If the defendant gets pulled over for a traffic violation, and this usually happens happens to everyone eventually, the arresting officer is legally required to take the defendant into custody. People can also get arrested for outstanding warrants when they try to renew their driver’s licenses or go to visit other people in jail. Additionally, if you are looking to take that vacation tour throughout Europe, people with outstanding warrants usually cannot obtain passports.

If I’m Behind on Child Support, Do I Have an Active Warrant?

Maybe.  Judges surely can issue a warrant for reasons that include failure to pay child support, falling behind on alimony payments, failure to pay fines, and even failing to appear for jury duty. An arrest warrant is not always issued in these kinds of cases, though.  To be on the safe side, the only way to know for sure if you have a warrant or not is to inquire with the local authorities yourself or call United Bonding Company and ask for the assistance of a free warrant search. Please understand that if you have an arrest warrant as a result of a secret indictment, there is no way for you to know whether or not you have a warrant without attempting to turn yourself in.  United Bonding Company is unable to GUARANTEE that you don’t have any warrants for your arrest.

United Bonding Company has provided bonding services for over 13 years in Shelby County and Western Tennessee and also provides bonds in the  Shelby County Juvenile Court. United Bonding Company is a member of TAPBA https://www.tapba.org/ Tennessee Association of Professional Bond Agents.

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