Program Helps Collect Warrant Fines

By: Carly Kennelly
By: Carly Kennelly

There are a slew of people out there who haven't paid up. The Bryan Municipal Court shows that there are 7,982 outstanding Class C warrants. That means the city is owed $2.3 million.

Police say it's a continual problem, but sometimes they can knock out a few warrants with one arrest.

"If we catch somebody one time and we may have five or six warrants for them on something else, so we serve five or six of those warrants on that same person," said Walt Melnyk with the Bryan Police Department.

College Station is in the same boat with just over 7,000 outstanding warrants.

Both police stations use a tool called the Failure to Appear Program, which doesn't allow a person to renew their driver's license until they've paid up.

"DPS will send the individual a letter advising them that their driver's license has been flagged and that they need to come in to resolve their cases," said Bryan Municipal Court Administrator Hilda Phariss.

Bryan has used the program for a few years now. But, College Station implemented it just this summer and so far $115,000 has been paid.

Authorities say if you have a warrant out for your arrest, the best thing to do is turn yourself in. At least once a year there's an amnesty period.

"Depending what the judge decides we might drop the warrant fee and give individuals an opportunity to come in and clear their cases without the fear of being arrested," said Phariss.

But remember, those who choose to flee the county won't get far. The Failure to Appear Program is stopping them in their tracks.


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