GALLIPOLIS — Persons who have an active warrant for failure to appear in Gallipolis Municipal Court will have the chance to take advantage of the court’s second Warrant Amnesty day next week.
Judge Eric Mulford has announced that the municipal court will offer a warrant amnesty opportunity on Tuesday, February 11, 2019 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Individuals who failed to appear for a scheduled hearing, such as an arraignment, a pre-trial, or a show cause/payment review, can come to court and resolve the warrant without being jailed.
“The easiest way to turn a minor problem into a major problem is to not come to court,” Mulford said. “For someone who missed court, this opportunity is a quick and easy way to get a warrant recalled and get your case back on track.”
When announcing the court’s first Warrant Amnesty in 2018, Mulford said that “[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.” On April 20 of that year, 44 defendants appeared and had their warrants recalled by either seeing the judge immediately or having their cases rescheduled on a date when their attorney would be present.
Mulford encouraged everyone with a misdemeanor warrant for failure to appear to take advantage of this opportunity before their problems become worse.
“When you have a warrant, you typically cannot renew a driver’s license and the warrant will show up in any background check ran by a prospective employer. If you’re arrested on the warrant, the court will not handle your case immediately. Rather, your case would be scheduled for a hearing on a future date and a bond would have to be posted in order to be released from jail,” the judge said.
Mulford said that the court’s goal in offering the Warrant Amnesty Day is to clear the docket of cases that could be resolved if the defendant would simply appear in court, and to do so without adding to the jail population. Offering unique opportunities for individuals to clear warrants was one of the recommendations included in Gov. Mike DeWine’s warrant task force report.
Persons who are not represented by an attorney and who are unsure of the status of their case can use the record search feature on the court’s website at gmcourt.org to review the case summary, docket, and whether any active warrants are pending.