If you are like a lot of people, you likely do not take minor traffic tickets all that seriously. Your court date may therefore completely slip your mind unless you mark it on your calendar in big red letters.
FindLaw explains that your best interests dictate that you do whatever it takes to remember your court date and show up on time in the proper courtroom. Why? Because if you fail to appear when scheduled, the judge may well issue a bench warrant for your arrest.
Understanding bench warrants
Unlike a regular arrest warrant, the judge himself or herself issues bench warrants from his or her courtroom bench. In your case, the charge would be failure to appear. So now you have a second charge against you in addition to the traffic violation for which you received your ticket.
Just like a regular arrest warrant, a bench warrant gives law enforcement officers the authority to arrest you any time and any place that they find you. They can come to your home, your place of work, or anywhere else that they know you frequent.
Practically, however, officers seldom if ever do this. What will more likely happen to you is that they will arrest you sometime when they see you driving down the street. Keep in mind that your bench warrant information includes your vehicle’s license tag number because you got your underlying ticket for a traffic violation. The bench warrant information goes into not only the court’s computer system, but also the local police and/or sheriff’s department computer system(s). Furthermore, these warrants never expire unless and until officers actually arrest you.