How Long Does a Bench Warrant for Failure to Appear Last?

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A bench warrant, whether for failure to appear in court or for some other reason, remains in effect indefinitely, according to The Law Dictionary. A judge issues a bench warrant when a defendant or witness fails to appear in court at the agreed-upon date and time.

Failure to appear in court as indicated on a traffic citation could result in the issuance of a bench warrant, a DMV hold on the driver's license, additional penalties and other consequences, according to the Superior Court of California, County of Orange. Until the offender appears in court as required or posts the appropriate bond, she is subject to arrest under the bench warrant by any law enforcement agency.