The penalties for missing a bench warrant may include jail sentences, fines, suspensions of drivers' licenses and bond revocation, according to Criminal Defense Lawyer. The court can hold a person who missed a bench warrant in custody until it schedules a hearing.
In a serious criminal case, law enforcement officers may look for and take into custody a person who missed a bench warrant. The officers may remand the person in jail until the court schedules a hearing for his failure to appear. If the court finds the person guilty of contempt of court or failure to appear, it may impose fines or a jail sentence on the defendant. In some states, the court may suspend the person's driver's license until he appears in court, as stated by Criminal Defense Lawyer.
A court may change the conditions of release of a person who misses a bench warrant and require him to post bond. If the person had previously posted bond, the court may require him to increase the amount of money deposited before release, notes Criminal Defense Lawyer. Possible defenses for missing a court warrant include circumstances beyond one's control, such as a natural disaster, an illness or an accident.