It is best to have an attorney present with you to avoid being taken into custody. A qualified and experienced attorney will know how to "quash" the bench warrant by asking the court to set it aside. The attorney will have to advance the case on the court's calendar as soon as possible. The risk of police coming to arrest you in your home, at your place of work, or getting arrested and taken into custody for an outstanding bench warrant in general is terrifying. If you are simply pulled over for a minor traffic infraction and there is an outstanding bench warrant you can be taken into custody. Don't risk the consequences of being taken into custody and having to post bail and possibly pay fines. Call for a free consultation today!
If a person has been released on recognizance (OR), and has failed to appear for a necessary court date a prosecutor may add a Failure to Appear charge as an additional misdemeanor. To be convicted, the prosecution must prove the accused had intent to "evade the court process". The District Attorney may be able to show evidence of this intent if you have failed to appear for more than 14 days.
Penal Code 1320 is the relevant statute for a failure to appear charge, but its consequences differ depending on whether your underlying court case is a misdemeanor or felony. A failure to appear on a misdemeanor case carries consequences of up to 6 months in county jail. A failure to appear on a felony case in which a party has been released on recognizance carries consequences of a felony Failure to Appear charge with a possible state prison term. It also carries a potential fine of $5,000. If a party posted a bond (out on bail), and they fail to appear on a felony charge, the fine can be up to $10,000.
A SERNA or Doggett Motion may be appropriate to argue that it is the government's fault for failure to bring you to court where there was an outstanding warrant, for a long period of time, they had notice of your whereabouts, yet they failed to bring you to jurisdiction process in a timely fashion, especially in instances where they could have taken you into custody and they failed to do so. It basically argues that the government, for sleeping on its rights, violated the defendant's rights to a speedy trial and the defendant has now been prejudiced because of the passing of time, missing witnesses, lost evidence due to fading memory and other articulated facts which can persuade the court that the defendant has been duly prejudiced by the delay in prosecution.
SERNA motions can be argued successfully to dismiss charges all together depending on the circumstances of the case, regardless of how many outstanding warrants you have on your recorsd.