Bench or Arrest Warrants in Wisconsin

Warrants are documents that order individuals to appear before the court either to provide information or to face charges against them. There are two types in Wisconsin:  a bench warrant and an arrest warrant.

What is the difference between a bench warrant and an arrest warrant?

Bench warrants are typically issued when defendants fail to appear in court or fail to meet certain court orders. They may also be issued to subpoena a witness to court. Sometimes they can be issued for not serving jury duty when called.

Bench warrants typically do not mean law enforcement will be out looking for you. Instead, bench warrants will show up in a database search if you come into contact with law enforcement in other ways like in a routine traffic stop or for another crime.  

An arrest warrant is issued when there is suspicion that you’ve committed a crime, usually by law enforcement. Arrest warrants compel law enforcement to actively search for you.

How do I know if I have an outstanding warrant?

You can access Wisconsin’s Consolidated Court Automation Programs (CCAP) online to search state records and see if there is an arrest or bench warrant out for you in the state of Wisconsin. Federal warrants can be searched by calling or visiting the federal courthouse and speaking with the courthouse clerk. Your attorney or a friend or relative can do so on your behalf.

What should I do if a warrant has been issued?

If you are aware that a warrant has been issued against you, do not ignore it or avoid law enforcement. Instead, seek legal counsel.

The attorneys at Tracey Wood and Associates can advise you on the best way to take care of a warrant. Contact us today for help in finding out if you have a warrant issued against you and what to do about it.

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