Legal Updates

Bench Warrants in Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia is a city of 1.548 million inhabitants.  Every year thousands of individuals are charged with crimes.  Some of these individuals fail to appear at their court dates.  Given the size of the city and the number of citizens charged, it is impractical to search down every alleged criminal who Fails to Appear (“FTA”).  While Philadelphia does often pick up defendants who missed their court date, other defendants can go years without being prosecuted.  If they are not stopped or arrested on other charges, they may be especially difficult to locate.  

But the charges do not go away.  Eventually the defendant will be located.  There are also other considerations. The defendant may wish to move on with their life.  The best way to deal with any criminal allegation is face it.  Our office works with defendant’s who have missed court.  We mitigate the impact of the FTA, and aggressively fight the underlying charge.

The defendant who has missed court should speak with a lawyer.  The lawyer and defendant then must head to the local courthouse to schedule a “turn in.”  The defendant will probably be brought into custody.  Shortly thereafter, a Bench Warrant Hearing will be held.  If the defendant has a lawyer, the lawyer can explain to the judge the circumstances behind the defendant’s Failure to Appear.  The judge may issue a short period of incarceration for the defendant’s FTA. After this period of incarceration, the defendant will be released or held on bail.  Bail may be increased at the Bench Warrant Hearing.  It is important to have an attorney to argue against such an increase.

With the Bench Warrant out of the way, the defendant must then face the underlying charges.  If a significant period of time has elapsed between the FTA and the new court date, it may make sense to litigate the case.  Speak with a criminal defense attorney about your options.

At the Law Office of Mark D. Copoulos, we understand that a Bench Warrant is an extremely stressful situation for the defendant and their family.  We mitigate the impact of the warrant by acting quickly, and then aggressively defending against the underlying charge.  This method has proven successful, and is the best way to face an outstanding warrant. 

You cannot run away from the law forever.  Call now at (267) 535-9776 to schedule a free consultation.  This free consultation is available to Philadelphia residents only.  We look forward to providing you with excellent service.