Bench Warrants in Philadelphia County

My cousin got picked up on a 17 year old bench warrant. He tells me he has never been arrested before. How the heck could he have a bench warrant?

It is quite odd that someone would get picked up on a bench warrant having never been arrested. In Philadelphia county when someone is arrested that are finger printed and given an ID number that is forever linked to that finger print. That ID number is referred to as a PP number. PP stands for Police Photo. Therefore, when a person gets arrested, there exists someone a PP number for the defendant that was arrest on the case and that PP number has finger print attached. If a person gets picked up for a bench warrant and wants to argue that it is impossible that it is his bench warrant because he has never been arrested, his lawyer can simply request that the finger prints be brought into court to disprove the identity.

The obvious next question is, how long does this take? That answer depends on the specific circumstance. At worst case scenario, I would hope never longer than three weeks. I think I could get this cleared up within three to four business days.

I am interested to hear Jay’s thoughts on this one.

2 Comments on Bench Warrants in Philadelphia County

  1. If this is not a case of mistaken identity, then there are three possibilities I see.

    First, the individual could simply be lying about being arrested.

    Second, the individual could have been under the influence of alcohol, drugs, medication, or severe mental illness and may genuinely not recall being arrested and processed.

    Finally, the person may have been detained for a summary offense and issued a summons for court. Although never arrested, the person was still mandated to come to court and failed to appear. As a corollary to this last possibility, there are many good cops out there but also many BAD cops out there. Perhaps the police officer issued a summons or citation for court but never actually presented it to the person.

    Assuming this was, in fact, a case of mistaken identity, it should be able to be cleared up within a few weeks – I agree with Mr. Zeiger. However, making sure that happens requires retaining a lawyer who will be forceful and push hard to get everything lined up – it requires prep work and talking to the DA’s office and the Judge’s chambers prior to the day of court.

  2. Anonymous // at 3:21 pm // Reply

    I have gotten a transfer from state probation in Philadelphia to county probation in Philadelphia.That was in oct.2011.The last time i heard from them was in March i had to call records and find out my po.I have called him numerous times and left numerous messages nobody has ever answered me back.Do you think i have a bench warrant.

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