At Griffin Law, PLLC, in North Carolina, we represent many people facing various traffic court charges. We therefore know that most people look on traffic tickets as relatively minor things that they can ignore or for which they can fail to appear for their scheduled court date.

We also know, however, that blowing off your court date is a really bad idea. For one thing, that traffic ticket will not go away until you dispose of it properly. For another, as NorthCarolinaWarrant.org explains, if you fail to appear in court at the scheduled time, the judge will likely issue a bench warrant.

Bench warrants

Bench warrants go by that name because judges issue them from their judicial bench, usually because someone has not appeared in court when (s)he should have to defend against the charge(s) (s)he faces. A bench warrant gives law enforcement officers the authority to arrest you on a charge of contempt of court, the standard charge when you fail to appear. And remember, this charge and its inherent fine and court costs are in addition to and separate from the traffic violation(s) you allegedly committed.

While officers have the right to arrest you any time and any place they find you, they likely will not come to your home to do so over a relatively minor traffic ticket. What will more likely happen is that the next time officers pull you over for an alleged traffic violation, they will immediately arrest you and take you to jail once they discover you have an outstanding bench warrant.

Unfortunately for you, bench warrants never expire of their own accord. This puts you in the tenuous position of constantly facing arrest every time you drive. You would have been much smarter not to blow off your court date.

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