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How long after a missed "surrender" court date is a warrant issued?

Riverside, CA |

A friend missed her court date today and it was supposed to be her surrender date. Will a warrant be issued for her arrest right away? And will she automatically get extra time for missing the original date, seeing as how she was supposed to surrender?

She's was sentenced 16 months for traffic violations or unpaid tickets. No DUI or anything serious like that. She lives in San Bernardino/Riverside County.

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Attorney answers 4


When the case is called and you don't answer "here".

The opinions rendered herein are based on general principles of law. Laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and there are often numerous factors which can render advice or an opinion inapplicable. You should NOT make any decisions about the handling of a legal matter without first directly consulting with an attorney about the particulars of your case.


A warrant is issued the same date, usually, and constitutes a "failure to appear", which is a separate offense. Judges have discretion and will often waive any additional penalty if someone shows up immediately after failing to appear, but this would mean tomorrow or the next day. Waiting more than a week means she would need a really good excuse to avoid extra jail time for the offense.


Nicholas M. Loncar, Esq.
t: 323.803.4352 | f: 323.617.3838
Sunset Law Building | 1295 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA | 90027


The warrant was almost certainly issued the same date that she failed to appear. However, the chance that she was sentenced to 16 months for traffic tickets is zero. I suggest that she hire a locally experienced defense attorney to deal with the warrant ASAP. Best of luck.

Jasen Nielsen


Typically a bench warrant is issued on the same morning that the defendant fails to appear. The warrant is typically set at $25,000. Here, however, she missed her surrender date so things are different. At the time of her plea, she may have waived the 16 months if she failed to appear on her surrender date, meaning that the judge can now max her out which in this scenario appears to be 3 years or more. My advice is for her to contact her attorney and get in there today. I wish her the best.
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