PC 853.7 Warrants are court orders to a police agency, usually a county Sheriff’s office, to take a person into custody and bring that person to court. Their full name is “Penal Code section 853.7 bench warrants”. Here is a breakdown of how they work.
Most bench warrants are issued because a person misses a court date after signing a promise to appear (traffic ticket or citation).
Whether issued under California Vehicle Code 40508a or Penal Code sec 853.7, a bench warrant means the court wants to see you, NOW! Technically, a person with a pending warrant is a fugitive from justice.
Other reasons a court may issue a bench warrant would include a failure to pay child support, for a new criminal charge, because a probation deadline was missed, or failure to pay a fine.
|In the traffic court arena, and misdemeanor criminal court, when a person misses a court date, the court will generally issue a bench warrant to force the Defendant back to court. |
In California, for most vehicle related violations, if a person misses a court date, the court will issue a warrant under authority of California Vehicle Code section 40508a.
These common failure to appear warrants are called “40508a warrants”, and Veh Code sec 40508a is the statute (or law) that allows the court to issue a warrant after a missed court date on a signed “promise to appear” (traffic ticket).
PC 853.7 refers to Penal Code section 853.7, which makes it a misdemeanor for a person to fail to appear in court on signed promise to appear.
A Penal Code 853.7 Warrant, or “853.7 warrant”, is very similar to a Traffic Court Vehicle Code 40508a warrant, but not as common. The authority for a warrant on these cases comes from the Penal Code, rather than the Vehicle Code. They are generally issued for a missed court date on a citation that does not relate to the Vehicle Code.
A common cause of a Penal Code 853.7 warrant is a missed court date on citation alleging a failure to pay BART or train fare, or being drunk in public under Penal Code 647(f) for example.
In reality, it does not matter what kind of misdemeanor warrant was issued. VC 40508a warrant or PC 853.7 warrant? Who cares?
Well PC 853.7 warrants often show up on criminal history background checks. VC 40508a warrants can show up on a driver history report and on criminal background checks.
Aside from these minor differences, the consequences and solutions are the same. Both types of warrants can lead to sudden arrest or loss of a job.
The more important question is WHY was it issued? Missed court date? Failure to pay fine? Failure to show up for Sheriff’s Work Program? Etc.
And very importantly: “How do I get a bench warrant cleared as soon as possible?”
Usually, misdemeanor bench warrants require a court appearance to resolve. However, for warrants in most misdemeanor cases, an Attorney hired by the Defendant before they get caught may be able to get a warrant recalled and a case back on track without the client having to go to court, pay bail or go to jail.
Even in many probation violation warrant cases, a Criminal Defense Attorney hired by the Defendant can appear in court for the Defendant before they get arrested.
Many Penal Code 853.7 warrants can be cleared within days with the right action.
If you have a bench or arrest warrant, request a Free Attorney Case Review to see if you have the type of warrant that can be cleared fast, without you having to go to court.
Maybe an attorney can get your warrant recalled in 2 days by fax without you having to go to court? Sometimes it is possible.
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