Pay heed to warrant amnesty and save money, avoid jail
By Ed Spillane, Municipal Court Judge
Since the City of College Station began our warrant amnesty/warrant roundup program in 2007, we’ve cleared more than 6,000 warrants valued at over $2 million. The twice-yearly amnesty period has proven to be a win for defendants and our court because it’s provided a path for people to pay outstanding warrants and avoid jail.
The first warrant amnesty period of 2018 for the City of College Station and Brazos County starts Monday and runs through March 2. Last spring, we cleared 466 warrants valued at almost $180,000.
If you have an outstanding warrant, you can avoid paying a $50 per case warrant fee if you pay the fine in full. During the warrant roundup March 3-11, city marshals, police officers, reserve police officers, and constables will arrest those who haven’t paid their fines.
If you have an unpaid outstanding warrant, there’s a good chance you’ll be arrested.
Many cities do the roundup without offering amnesty, but we think the amnesty period is essential because you can make restitution, save a little money, and avoid jail time.
We’ve been a leader in encouraging other courts to participate, and now there is a statewide round-up in March. Our court has even been recognized by The Baltimore Sun as a national leader due to our amnesty program.
Do you have an outstanding warrant?
If the College Station Police Department issued your citation, you can check your warrant’s status at cstx.gov/warrants. You may also call the College Station Municipal Court at 979-764-3683.
No partial payment schedules will be allowed if you want to avoid the $50 fee. The City of College Station accepts cash, cashier’s check, credit cards, money orders, and personal checks. You may also pay your outstanding warrant through our online citation payment system.
If you have an outstanding warrant, I strongly encourage you to take care of it today. It’s a much better option than going to jail.
Podcast: Judge Spillane on warrant amnesty and toughest cases (Oct. 14, 2015)
Ed Spillane is president of the Texas Municipal Courts Association and has been the presiding judge of College Station’s Municipal Court since 2002. He received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard in 1985 and earned his Doctor of Law degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1992.
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