By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director
College Station Municipal Court Judge Ed Spillane doesn’t want you to go to jail. If you run afoul of the law, he just wants you to come to court so the best-case scenario can be worked out.
In this edition of the podcast, Judge Spillane talks about why he offers a warrant amnesty period. He also describes the toughest cases he sees, some of the biggest misconceptions about the court, and his many experiences with “helicopter parents.”
Warrant Amnesty runs Oct. 15-26
As a judge, I see a number of people after they’ve been arrested and are in jail on an outstanding warrant. Often, they are very happy to see me since they associate me with releasing them from jail. I’ll ask them why they didn’t come to College Station Municipal Court in the first place and the response I hear so many times is either:
- “I didn’t think ignoring a ticket could get you arrested,” or
- “I was saving up money and, until I had the money to pay the fine, I wasn’t going to court to make my plea.”
Most Class-C misdemeanors are handled through citizens receiving a ticket rather than being arrested. These include offenses like a minor in possession of alcohol, disorderly conduct due to noise, assault, theft under fifty dollars, and most traffic offenses and city ordinance violations — all criminal offenses in Texas. When you sign the ticket promising to appear, that signature acts as your promise to appear in court, versus being arrested and posting a bond guaranteeing your appearance.