When a criminal case has been filed, an arrest warrant will often be issued by a judge. Obviously, no one wants to have active warrants out there pending in the system, since it means a person can be taken into custody at any time. It turns out that courts and law enforcement agencies don’t like active warrants, either. The more warrants that are out there, the greater the burden of work that is placed on agencies to process and clear them.
This is one of the reasons why, every now and then, courts will declare a general “amnesty” with regard to active warrants. An amnesty means that a person will not be arrested for an outstanding warrant. You are given a temporary “grace period.” The idea is that the court wants people to appear and take care of their legal issues in a way that is efficient for everyone. Specifically, a person appears in court and the warrant is cancelled, and any warrant fees are waived. It is important to understand that an amnesty does not dismiss the underlying case. The case still remains, and will need to be resolved, but the warrant is withdrawn and the warrant fees are waived. You should still obtain legal representation to take care of the underlying case.
It is also important to understand that amnesties apply only if there is court contact. This means that warrants remain active until resolved with the court, and can be served by a law enforcement officer if you have contact with police during the amnesty period outside of a court setting, such as at a traffic stop. So, in other words, you have to show up at the right place, and at the right time, for the amnesty to be valid.
Some municipal courts in Johnson County, Kansas will conduct a warrant amnesty event from September 9th to September 17th. Anyone who has an active warrant can appear at the court from where the warrant was issued, at the specified time, and can have their warrant cancelled and their warrant fee waived. This only applies to the municipal courts that are participating in this amnesty. You should call the court before you go in order to verify that they are participating.
If you can’t attend this amnesty or if your court is not participating, there still may be an option. In some courts if you hire an attorney, the attorney can go to the court and try to get the warrant withdrawn. This is something that our law firm does frequently for our clients.
If you need legal representation regarding your warrants, please call us for a free consultation at 913-385-9900.