Individuals that have unpaid fines can avoid a jail stay through a limited time offer by the Honorable Judge Kim Bridgforth, Jefferson County Division 1 District Judge through a program called “Amnesty Days”. It is estimated that there are hundreds of outstanding warrants for people who failed to appear for court dates, or have overdue fines and costs to pay for misdemeanor offenses in district court.
“Beginning Wednesday, July 25th – 27th 2018 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., people will have yet another opportunity to resolve unpaid fines and costs without the fear of being arrested at work, home or during a traffic stop as a result of the issuance of a warrant,” Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Operations Commander Major Lafayette Woods, Jr. said. “Our office is working in conjunction with Judge Bridgforth and her court staff as part of “Amnesty Days.”
Amnesty Days was last offered in 2017 and included the following:
- Dismissal of misdemeanor arrest warrants
- Misdemeanor traffic violations
- Misdemeanor hot check violations
- Resetting of court proceedings associated with warrants for arrest to include failure to appear and failure to comply
The Amnesty Program allows anyone with ACTIVE WARRANTS to come and pay on their fines without being arrested. The bench warrant fee will be dismissed and a court date will be given to set up a payment plan.
“It’s beneficial for the county to collect the fines and it’s equally beneficial for those who owe money to pay up and work towards clearing their record. The opportunity to come in without fear of being arrested and be given a second chance does not come often. I believe the judicial system recognizes that sometimes people simply forget about fulfilling their obligations to the courts or just don’t have the money to satisfy their fines. However, in either of those situations, it is best those who find themselves in one or the other to speak with the court directly instead of ignoring the issue. The longer it lingers, the more expensive it gets and it just doesn’t go away.”
People who do not take advantage of the offer may be subject to additional criminal charges and additional fines and costs for failure to appear in court, failure to obey a court order and/or fines and costs when the warrant is served.