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Answer by Idealist
a bench warrant is one which is issued by a Judge…hence Bench which the judge sits on. usually issued after you have appeared in court and have yet complied with the demands of the court concerning your crime.
arrest warrant is issued when you are in the process of committing the crime
Answer by John S
In practical effect, there is no difference. An arrest warrant generally refers to the warrant issued by a magistrate when presented with a complaint showing that a person committed a criminal offense. A bench warrant generally refers to a warrant issued by a judge or magistrate after the defendant has been brought to court. These are most commonly issued for defendants who fail to appear or for defaulting witnesses.
I believe the difference in terminology stems from a time when arrest warrants issued upon criminal complaints were issued by magistrates who were not judges, as opposed to other warrants issued by judges “from the bench.” These days, most magistrates are also judges.