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Why You Should Pay Now And Avoid Jail During The Annual Warrant Round Up

Law enforcement agencies and courts from more than 300 jurisdictions across Texas will participate in the annual "Great Texas Warrant Round Up" that begins Saturday, March 1st. Officials say now is the time to settle cases to avoid being arrested.

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The round up is designed to target the thousands of defendants with outstanding traffic tickets and other misdemeanor violations.

Lt. Michelle Chavez with Houston Police Special Operations says officers will locate and arrest anybody anywhere.

“At home, at church, at work, at school being arrested in front of your family, friends and co-workers is an embarrassment that no one wants. Having your vehicle towed, because you were in your vehicle when we located you, is a headache and expense that no one wants. This will happen whether you have one warrant or thirty.”

Houston’s Municipal Courts presiding Judge Barbara Hartle says it’s the only time officials will be the giving mood.

“We’re giving you the gift of notice. That if you don’t come in within the next two weeks, your chances of being arrested for your outstanding warrants, fines and fees that are owed will go up greatly. Because this will be a concerted effort by law enforcement, to go out and serve these warrants and bring you into the courts.”

In Houston alone, there are an estimated 300,000 outstanding misdemeanor warrants that need to be cleared.

“If you have citations outstanding from other jurisdictions, you need to get in touch with those jurisdictions. We’re not taking care of those. You need to go to those jurisdictions and work those cases out.”

In Houston, people can pay their fines, traffic tickets and other fees in person at the municipal courthouse, online or by phone. For more information, visit Municipal Courts Department webpage, or contact the city’s Helpline at 311.

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