What Does It Mean If a Bench or Arrest Warrant is “Recalled”?

A bench or arrest warrant is really an order from a court to a law enforcement agency. It means, in essence: “Go get this person and bring them to me.” Most warrants are a product of a problem in a case, such as a missed court date, or failed drug test.

Once a court issues a warrant, there are a few different ways to satisfy the court’s order that the Defendant show up in court.

The best way to get a warrant problem solved is to get the warrant “Recalled” by the court with jail or payment of bail. That means brought back from the Sheriff’s Office – returned – deleted.

Warrants can also be satisfied when they are “served” by the Sheriff’s Department – but that is never a good option. It is way better for a defendant with a warrant to get the court to recall it before the Sheriff’s serve it.

When a warrant is “served” that means that a law enforcement officer has given the person notice of the warrant, and has brought them to court via jail. (In some very minor cases a warrant can be “Served” when an officer issues a new “Promise to Appear” that the defendant signs).

Most warrants can also be satisfied through a “Bond” – or in other words – a warrant’s order for a court appearance on a certain date can be secured by a Payment of Bail to the court as a deposit. Usually this means the defendant posts a cash “bond” with the court and sets a new court date instead of going to jail.

Bottom Line? – if you have a pending bench or arrest warrant – your #1 goal should be to get into court or send an attorney to court for you to ask for a Recall of the Warrant without jail, without bail. Once the warrant is recalled, you have to deal with the problem in the case that caused the warrant.

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4 Responses to What Does It Mean If a Bench or Arrest Warrant is “Recalled”?

  1. joseph cohee says:

    I misssed by court adte bbecause of sheer distance from where I was issued a fix it ticket, cited for possession of a firecracker and 1 gram of pot. I called and wrote the court before my court date told them og my distance problem and at that time I had no vehicle, and so tried to transfer the charges to my county and they refused. Now I get a letter for my arrest. In plan to go there (7.5 hours drive) and seek a recall. Is there anything else I should do?
    Thank you, JCohee

    • Joseph,

      The best way to deal with that problem is hire an attorney to go for you. They might be able to fix it in one day. The cost? Probably less than your trip would be.

      Otherwise, go in person ASAP, get the warrant recalled by making a walk in court appearance, then deal with the underlying case some how. Plead guilty, end it fast, maybe.

      Get the warrant recalled right away, because that can hurt your employment options / status.

  2. RANDY says:


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