GALLIPOLIS — Gallipolis Municipal Judge Eric Mulford has announced that the court will offer its first warrant amnesty program to allow individuals who failed to appear for a scheduled court hearing to resolve the issue without being arrested.
The municipal court has set aside Friday, April 20, 2018 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. to hold arraignments and show cause hearings for anyone who has an active arrest warrant for failure to appear at one of those types of hearings. Rather than eventually being arrested for failure to appear and held in jail until their case is resolved, individuals can come into court on April 20, have their warrant recalled, and be seen by the judge so that they may resolve their case.
“A large number of our arrest warrants are for failure to appear for court on a charge that the defendant would never go to jail for in the first place had he or she simply appeared when scheduled and taken care of the matter,” Mulford said. “In many cases, this is something as simple as a court date on a relatively minor charge that the defendant ignored. Hopefully, those individuals who missed their court date will take advantage of this opportunity to get their cases back on track rather than risk being arrested and jailed for an offense that typically would not result in a jail sentence as one of the penalties.”
Persons who have arrest warrants for probation violations are encouraged to appear that same day.
“If you are in violation of the terms of your probation for missing a scheduled appointment with your probation officer, for example, the court is much more likely to set a personal recognizance bond in your case if you appear on April 20th than if you wait to get arrested on the warrant,” Mulford said.
The municipal court’s goal in offering the warrant amnesty program is to clear its docket of cases that could be quickly and easily resolved without a jail sentence if the defendant would simply make their required personal appearance in court.
“I would much rather use jail space for defendants who have committed violent crimes and thefts rather than those who simply didn’t come to court on traffic and minor misdemeanor charges when scheduled,” Mulford said.
For more information regarding the Gallipolis Municipal Court, contact the bailiff at (740) 446-9400, Ext. 226.