Dealing with a Bench Warrant for a Traffic Ticket

One of the most common reasons for a bench warrant being issued is for unpaid traffic tickets, or a failure to show up for a court appearance resulting in a criminal charge against the individual (sometimes referred to as a bench warrant).

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Does a Warrant Appear on a Background Check? 

A bench warrant is a matter of public record and information about it can be viewed by anyone who has access to a public records database. In other words, just about anyone can learn about it either by paying for access through an Internet service or via public records terminal accessed by government employees.

The bad news is that if you aren’t aware of the warrant being issued and are applying for a job, you may be getting no response or turned down for the position because the company running the background check learns of the bench warrant.

The good news is that a prospective employer normally won’t act on the warrant by contacting local law enforcement (but they do have the right). Most potential employers simply don’t wish to be as involved in those types of issues.

Resolution of The Issue Removes The Warrant 

If you resolve the underlying charges – pay the fines for the tickets -- your warrant will be removed (expunged) from your records and should disappear from all databases. However, there is often no guarantee of complete expungement and expired bench warrants can still wreak havoc even on the most well-intentioned driver.

You can read more about resolving bench warrants. Most court systems have processes in place to allow people to take care of these warrants without actually being arrested. You will have to initiate this process though, because it isn’t the court’s responsibility to let you know what your options are. You may also wish to get the help of a qualified lawyer who can help you to deal with the warrant and to make arrangements to resolve the underlying traffic issues that caused the traffic ticket warrant to be issued in the first place.

Updated by: , Attorney

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