Municipal Court to have Amnesty Day

Published 4:00 am Thursday, March 12, 2015

Troy Municipal Court is providing citizens with certain outstanding municipal court warrants an Amnesty Day to clear their pay their fines without concern of being arrested.

Municipal Court Clerk Neal Armstrong said the city hoped to be able to reconcile numerous failure to appear warrants as well as other minor citations including traffic, parking, litter, animal or noise citations, failure to pay fines and any warrants issued on these charges.

“These warrants have piled up throughout the years, and next Wednesday is a day that we will offer amnesty to where without concern of being arrested, booked, finger-printed, put behind bars and then having to call somebody to post a cash bond. And, it saves you the embarrassment of having your name in the paper for being arrested.”

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Armstrong said the biggest push for having an Amnesty Day was so citizens who had warrants out for their arrest could have them reconciled and could get back in the law’s good graces.

“Some of the benefits of getting this done is they well be able to get their licenses reinstated,” Armstrong said. “Their licenses were revoked when they missed their court day, so we want to help get them back in the law’s good graces.”

While going to court and getting handcuffed and booked and held for the time it takes the paperwork to come through can be embarrassing, Armstrong said citizens taking advantage of the Amnesty Day would not be arrested or charged the $25 Failure to Appear Fee.

“The main thing is for the citizens of Troy that have had this happen to them, they can come in without concern of being arrested or handcuffed or any embarrassment of having warrants of your arrest,” Armstrong said. “If you have warrants you are subjected being arrested no matter what.”

Another push for having citizens come in for the Amnesty Day is to be able to have citizens who currently cannot take advantage of the city’s emergency responders due to warrants be free and clear.

“Another big concern in public safety,” Armstrong said. “We have hundreds and hundreds of people that are afraid to call 911 when they’re being beaten, assaulted verbally harassed or they can’t use public protection because they didn’t pay a speeding ticket. They can’t use the police as a benefit, so we want to get those people to come and take care of those minor traffic citations and get that off their shoulders so they can again use 911.”

While the Amnesty Day will benefit people with minor citations and failure to appear or failure to pay charges, Armstrong said other charges would not be granted amnesty.

“There are certain types of warrants that can not be handled on Amnesty Day, and those would be DUIs, reckless driving charges and non traffic cases.”

However, Armstrong did say citizens who faced contempt of court charges were highly encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity.

“If you have a contempt of court charge pending, please come see us next Wednesday,” Armstrong said. “The judge orders people to attend DUI school, he orders people t make payments on their fines and if someone has failed to make payments or follow the judge’s orders and I’ll pull the contempt of court warrant out, and that person’s license is suspended.”

The Municipal Amnesty Day will be Wednesday, March 18 from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. For more information regarding court procedures that Wednesday, please call Troy Municipal Court at 566-4248.

“We hope to help people stop looking over their shoulder and encourage them to come in and take care of unpaid tickets,” Armstrong said.