Houston Municipal Courts Offer Amnesty For Certain Outstanding Warrants

Houston's Municipal Courts Department has begun an amnesty program for certain delinquent citations.

The amnesty period runs through February 9th. Most traffic and non-traffic citations that were delinquent on or before October 21st, 2012, are eligible for amnesty discounts.

Parking citations are not eligible, according to Presiding Judge Barbara Hartle, and there are other exceptions.

"The amnesty guidelines do not apply to previously adjudicated cases where the defendant failed to pay the fine or failed to take their defensive driving or failed to complete their community service. This is really geared toward the citizen who got the speeding ticket or who got the citation, put their citation in the glovebox and failed to come to court."

Judge Hartle says there are some 300,000 cases that need to be resolved.

"We are building a case management system and we want to resolve as many of the old cases that are currently in our current case management system before we convert over to a new cases management system. That's one of the reasons why we're offering the amnesty. The most important reason is we want to give citizens an opportunity to take care of delinquent citations."

You can find out if you have outstanding warrants by dialing Houston's Helpline at 311, or visit the court.

It's not the policy of Municipal Courts to arrest people who visit to inquire about their cases. But not resolving your case at all could lead to problems.

"And what they don't realize is that they could go to jail. People are taken to jail every single day on outstanding traffic warrants because they fail to come to court."

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...