So, you’ve been told you have a bench warrant out of the Torrance courthouse: what does that mean?
A bench warrant means you didn’t show up for court when you were supposed to, or perhaps that you didn’t turn in required paperwork to the clerk’s office on time. Either way, it’s important to deal with this issue as soon as possible, even if you think the warrant issued by mistake. If you are stopped by a law enforcement officer in any situation, that person will have the authority to arrest you on the spot. Obviously, that can have a huge impact on your life.
What to do about it? Well, that depends on which courthouse within Los Angeles County issued the warrant. Different courthouses have different policies about how bench warrant “recalls”—the term for getting rid of the warrant—are handled.
The first step is always to contact and hire a reputable attorney to help you with this. Surrendering yourself to court—walking in on your own, by yourself—is never a good idea. As for what the attorney should be doing from there: it depends on location. The video here gives some general insight into the Torrance Courthouse.
(NOTE: THE INFORMATION CONVEYED IN THE VIDEO is the opinion of the speaker as of JUNE 2014; things change. As judges get assigned to new locations and administrators change, so do procedures.)