The Town of Prosper is participating in the Great Texas Warrant Roundup starting Saturday, Feb. 25, to target individuals with outstanding violations including traffic, local municipal ordinances and state law violations, according to press release.
The warrant roundup is designed in two parts. The first part, between Feb. 10 and March 5, is where participating cities statewide enhance warrant activities. Defendants who received violation in that city are given an opportunity to voluntarily show up in court and see a judge to clear any violations against them. All warrants are Misdemeanor or Class C warrants. Neighboring cities like Allen, Frisco and Plano are also participating in the annual roundup.
“We are sending out notices, making phone calls and even offering some type of benefit to people who come in on their own,” Prosper Court Administrator Celia O’Dell said.
Online payment options are avaible at www.trafficpayment.com or over the phone at 1-800-444-1187. Individuals pleading to see a judge may appear Thursday, Feb. 23 and Thursday, March 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Saturday, March 4 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Once the enhancing period is over, police will start making arrests starting February 25. Officers will only be able to make arrests in their town or city. However, county officers are authorized to make arrests anywhere statewide.
There are about $720,000 owed in outstanding violations to Town of Prosper this year. In 2016, the number was $597,000. Prosper was able to accomplish those numbers, according to Celia O’Dell.
Officers from the Prosper Police Department will work off an arrest warrant list. The list provides names and address of defendants, which allow officers to arrest them at their home or work. If an individual has an arrest warrant because they never made an appearance after receiving a violation, they will be brought to court to see a judge. They will have the right to be arraigned by the judge.
“The judge will usually work with people, depending on the type of violation and the reason why the defendant failed to appear in court, and offer some type of amnesty,” O’Dell said.
Individuals with Capias Pro Fine warrant, where they have already been to court on their own and made some type of promise to pay, but failed, don’t have the right to be arraigned in court. They will be taken to jail.
It is advised to show up in court during the enhancing period to avoid embarrassment of getting arrested. If an individual is pulled over by police and has a warrant in their name, the officer must take them into custody. They can also show up to their place of employment.
Assistant Chief of Prosper Gary Mchone said the roundup each year has been efficient for the town of Prosper. The number of arrests the police department makes is usually less than the number of warrants issued.
“We have been fortunate enough to not have issues with the roundup,” Mchone said. “People usually cooperate with us, that’s what we are anticipating this year too.”
Celia O’Dell said individuals usually start showing up once they see cops banging on doors and making arrests.
“The intent is not to force people, the intent is to give people the opportunity to come in on their own and take care of it in a fair setting,” she said.