Local courts, cops gear up for Warrant Roundup
By LPR Staff
Working in concert with law enforcement agencies and courts across Central Texas, the Lockhart Municipal Court announced this week an intention to participate in the Great Texas Warrant Roundup, beginning on March 6.
More than 250 jurisdictional law enforcement agencies and courts across the state will combine efforts t
o target thousands of defendants with traffic, parking, city ordinance, penal code and other warrants. The Great Texas Warrant Roundup is believed to be the largest joint operation of its kind, with arrests expected for several days.
According to Bonnie Townsend, administrator for the Lockhart Municipal Court, more than 4,200 open warrants have been generated by the Lockhart Municipal Court, and defendants are encouraged to take care of their outstanding traffic warrants, or face the possibility of arrest starting on Saturday.
“We are hoping to get as many of these cleared as we can [during and before the Warrant Roundup],” she said.
Often, warrants targeted during the Warrant Roundup are the result of unpaid traffic tickets or tickets that spring from other ordinance violations. However, failure to pay those tickets or to appear before a judge to contest them does result in an additional criminal charge of “Failure to Appear,” and a warrant being issued for arrest.
“Affected persons are urged to contact the appropriate jurisdiction or jurisdictions [prior to the start of the roundup] to dispose of their cases voluntarily to avoid the inconvenience and embarrassment of arrest at home or work in front of family, friends and co-workers,” a joint press release from the City of Austin and the partner agencies suggested last week.
In addition to local police officers, sheriffs” departments, constables and state agencies will be reviewing outstanding warrants during the several-day Warrant Roundup, and working together to help each court clear their open cases. Therefore, it might not be effective for someone with an open warrant to leave that jurisdiction for another area during the Warrant Roundup. With more than 250 agencies participating, defendants are reminded there are few places to hide.
Instead, experts suggest, it is best to contact the court or agency that has jurisdiction over the warrant in an effort to make arrangements to clear the tickets or violations and avoid arrest.
For information, or to clear a warrant through the Lockhart Municipal Court, contact the court at (512) 398-9469. Callers will not be allowed to speak directly to a judge, but will be given instructions as to how to clear their warrants and avoid arrest.