If there is a warrant for your arrest that was issued by a municipal court in the St. Louis area, you may be able to get your warrant lifted and pay your fine without any additional penalties.
To take advantage of this opportunity, go to St. Louis Community College on one of three scheduled “Amnesty Days” in August 2012. Of the total 93 municipal courts in St. Louis, 50 of them (including St. Louis City Municipal Court, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County) will participate in “Amnesty Days” for defendants who have arrest warrants for any misdemeanor criminal charge, including traffic ticket warrants.
If You Have a Warrant, You Can Be Arrested Even If You Are Just a Passenger In a Vehicle Driven By Someone Else
You can be arrested and taken to jail if you are pulled over for a traffic violation and the police officer discovers your warrant, even if you are just a passenger in the car. If you are arrested and taken to jail, you won’t be released until you either post bond or you go before the judge at the next court date, which might not take place for another week or more.
To Get Your Warrant Lifted On Amnesty Day, You Must Pay a $10 Fee Plus $100 That Will Be Applied To Your Fines & Court Costs
If you attend one of the scheduled Amnesty Days at St. Louis Community College, you will be required to pay a $10 processing fee and listen to a 15-minute presentation that explains the program, then you will be given a voucher. Take the voucher and $100 to the municipal court that issued the warrant against you, and that court will lift your warrant and give you a new court date. The $100 will be applied to the fines and court costs that you owe to the court.
St. Louis City Municipal Court requires payment of only $35 (rather than $100) during Amnesty Days to lift a warrant.
How Does “Amnesty Day” Help Defendants With Warrants?
Courts who participate in Amnesty Day help defendants who have warrants by letting defendants get their warrants cancelled and pay their fines without additional penalties.
Normally, when an arrest warrant has been issued, the defendant must either hire an attorney to get the warrant lifted or pay a bond to the court in order to get the warrant lifted and get a new court date. In addition to paying the bond, defendants often must pay warrant fees and “Failure to Appear” fees.
When You Pay Your Fines, You’re Pleading Guilty
Be aware that when you pay your fines to the court, you are pleading guilty. The conviction will go on your criminal record, if it’s a misdemeanor criminal offense. If you pay the fine for a traffic ticket, then that conviction will be reported to the Missouri Department of Revenue and points will be added to your driving record.
After you get your warrant lifted and the court gives you a new court date, you can hire an attorney to represent you in court and negotiate a plea bargain with the court to reduce your charges to a lesser offense.
Which St. Louis Area Municipal Courts Will Participate In Amnesty Days in August 2012?
Following is a list of some of the municipal courts participating in the August 2012 Amnesty Days at St. Louis Community College:
Country Club Hills
St. Charles County
St. Louis City
St. Louis County
Town & Country
Velda Village Hills
When And Where Are “Amnesty Days” For Warrants Being Held In St. Louis?
St. Louis “Amnesty Days” hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dates and locations are as follows:
August 4 – St. Louis Community College – Meramec campus
August 8 – St. Louis Community College – Florissant Valley campus
August 11 – St. Louis Community College – Forest Park campus
Some Municipal Court Host Their Own Warrant Amnesty Days
In addition to the Amnesty Days at the St. Louis Community College locations, some other St. Louis municipalities host their own Amnesty Days, allowing defendants with arrest warrants to come to court and pay to get their warrants lifted and be given a new court date.
If you believe you have a warrant, call the court and ask if they are planning to hold an Amnesty Day.
Amnesty Day in Downtown St. Louis For Old Parking Tickets And Warrants
In May 2012, for the first time in more than ten years, there was an Amnesty Day downtown at the America’s Center for old parking tickets in St. Louis City and warrants in unincorporated St. Louis County.
Attendees paid entry fees ranging from $10 to $25 (prices varied depending on which jurisdiction issued the warrant), to the organization sponsoring the Amnesty Day event, and in exchange they were able to pay their overdue parking tickets without any additional penalties or late fees. Be prepared to wait several hours for this privilege, though. The May 2012 Amnesty Day in downtown St. Louis attracted thousands of people who had to wait for hours in long lines. See this St. Louis Post-Dispatch article about the recent St. Louis parking ticket Amnesty Day.
An Attorney Can Get Your Warrant Lifted And You Won’t Have To Pay Your Bond
If you can’t make it to the St. Louis area Amnesty Days, you can hire an attorney to get your warrant lifted and obtain a new court date for you. At that point, you can either pay the fine and the conviction will go on your record, or you can hire an attorney to negotiate a plea bargain with the court to get your charges reduced to a lesser offense.
Go to this page of my website to learn how to find out if you have a warrant in Missouri or see my previous blog post about how to get a warrant lifted in Missouri.