Philadelphia New Bail Process

Starting Monday, April 16th, Philadelphia will be opening its new Bench Warrant Court program. There are a large number of bench warrants issued every day in Philadelphia. Defendants and their families have come to expect that you just go a week later and get a new court date without consequences.Now the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the First Judicial District feel that jail must be give for those persons who get a bench warrant for no good reason. The new process is that1) Surrender in Room B04;2) Escort after processing to the holding cell area outside Room 403;3) Municipal Court Judge Waters will preside over Bench Warrant Court;4) Three lists will be generated for the day, 9:30; 10:30 and 11:30;5) Defendants, with or without private counsel on the case, will be assigned court-appointed counsel who are staffing the room;6) The court will hear the defendant’s reasons for failing to appear and address the bench warrant issue;7) If the court determines that the reason for the FTA is not good enough (or via some other unknown standard), then the matter will proceed to a full blown contempt hearing where the client could face significant incarceration on the contempt charge alone;8) Those taken into custody on bench warrants, or who are arrested on other matters while having an open bench warrant, will have their hearings held in the afternoons, typically by way of video conference (a major confrontation issue, among other problems, arising from this proposed practice).Contempt proceedings are tricky and attorneys defending these cases need to be aware of numerous procedural, evidentiary, sufficiency, and appellate issues. Before surrendering on any case, make sure counsel is secured and with you at all times during these proceedings. A contempt finding carries with it forfeiture of bail previously paid, up to 5 months and 29 days in jail, and no new bail being set on the underlying case.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Ask About Your Options

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Philadelphia Office
1835 Market Street, Suite 2626
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Toll Free: 877-442-7552
Phone: 215-665-0766
Fax: 215-665-1225
Philadelphia Law Office Map

King of Prussia Office
Valley Forge Towers
Suite 107
2000 Valley Forge Circle
King of Prussia, PA 19406

Toll Free: 877-442-7552
Map & Directions

Cherry Hill Office
1101 Route 70 West
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

Toll Free: 866-427-4552
Phone: 856-354-0050
Fax: 856-454-0440
Map & Directions

Review Us