Amnesty period underway for those with outstanding warrantsBy JASMINE STEVERSON JSTEVERSON@DDTONLINE.COM,
The City of Greenville’s annual amnesty period is underway.
This means those with outstanding warrants due to misdemeanors, failure to report to work center, failure to pay citations and failure to appear in court have an opportunity to pay back fines and get warrants and other penalties voided.
Warrants are updated after an initial payment and there will be no additional charges on top of existing ones.
Municipal Court Clerk Priscella Bush said in regard to what one has to pay, it depends on what his or her status is, which one would have to call to find out.
“Some of them have a warrant where they can pay a $25 fee and some of them have to pay something on their fine; it all depends on what status you’re in,” Bush said. “We have cleared almost over $4,000 from people either paying their fines or paying the $25 warrant fees.”
According to warrant officer Walter Washington, the annual amnesty period has been advertised on many platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even radio broadcasts in an effort to make sure people take advantage of it.
“We have over $3 million dollars in warrants here in the city of Greenville and we’re trying to clear it up and give people the opportunity cause things happen you know … they can’t pay the fine or they can’t work it off,” Washington said.
While people are given the opportunity to work the fine off, they also have the opportunity to come in and pay it, which will get the warrant list down, he said.
Washington said he personally feels like people should take advantage of it because it gives the community an opportunity to go ahead and take care of preexisting fines or tickets or things of that sort because a lot of times, some people don’t know they actually have those warrants or violations.
“When they call us, we verify whether it happened or not,” he said. “Number one, it keeps you out of jail and number two, it saves them time because they can come in and make the payment and they’ll usually be gone within ten minutes.”
Washington has served as a warrant officer for nearly eight months now and is aware of the skepticisms many people have when it comes to taking advantage of the amnesty period.
He highlighted they have to consider that people have families and jobs and because of that, they try their best not to keep people from their everyday lives.
Although the belief often times is the municipal court is trying to “trick” individuals, Washington said it is no gimmick.
“We make sure that we try to give everybody in the community the benefit of the doubt and give them as much help as possible so they can get their stuff taken care of,” he said. “We’re trying to help people the best way we can.”
The amnesty period lasts until March 30.
For more information, the Municipal Court is located at 302 Main St. The contact number is 662-378-1530 or 662-378-1522. Business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 302 Main St.