Judge says first amnesty day successful

JONESBORO, Ark. – Many shared and heeded the opportunity and 44 showed up on the first day, alone.

Craighead County District Court Judge Thomas Fowler told JPD that he had 44 people appear on the first of four amnesty days that he and Judge David Boling are conducting this month and in February for people with outstanding warrants or who are behind on their payment plans or public service work. People in these situations may come in get set back up on payment plans and re-set court dates without fear of being arrested.

Fowler said he quashed nearly 200 warrants and got people set back up on payment plans and reset court dates.

“I feel it was a very successful day and I received tremendous feedback from the participants,” Fowler said. “For example, one man had gotten behind. He was on disability. He has saved his money up but could not make a payment due to the warrant being issued. By taking advantage of today, he got the warrant quashed, was able to pay off everything he owed ($1,200.00) and get his driver’s license back. This is just one example of the positive impact we had today.”

“We had people calling us all day asking if it were really true that they would not go to jail if they showed up. Yes it is true. My intent all along was to get people to show up, to not be afraid to come to court, to get back on track and get on with their lives,” the judge continued. He said that he is “looking forward to seeing the total numbers when we are finished.”

There are three additional amnesty days scheduled in District Court. They are next Friday, Jan. 27, and the first two Fridays in February, Feb. 3 and Feb. 10.

On these dates, court will be held from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm.

Defendants must be present to be eligible. Individuals who have outstanding warrants in the Craighead County District Court will be served those warrants and cited back to court without being arrested. Individuals who are behind on their payment plans to the court or behind on their public service work may come in to speak with the judge about their specific situations without fear of being arrested.

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