The City of Houston Municipal Courts announce the start of their Spring Fresh Amnesty program today at a press conference held at the Herbert W. Gee central court. During the next 3 weeks, certain backward cases will receive discounts to help people save money while solving outstanding cases.
“Now is the perfect opportunity to start this spring season with a clean table. If you have backlogs, you are encouraged to go ahead and take advantage of these discounts,” said Director and Chief Judge of the Municipal Courts J. Elaine Marshall. “We are here to help with eligible cases for Amnesty issued on February 1 or earlier. Put the past in the past and start over, and if you have questions, please call us – we are here to help you,” said Judge Marshall.
The amnesty program began today, Friday, March 15, 2019 at 8:00 am and ends on Saturday April 6, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. Any defendant who voluntarily appears in any of the Municipal Courts during the Amnesty period will be able to resolve all of his eligible back cases, including cases of non-appearance (FTA), and will not be subject to arrest.
Eligible cases for Amnesty include cases that were not paid before February 1, 2019. Only the accused named in the subpoena or his or her attorney can participate in the Amnesty Program. Bail bonds companies, friends, relatives and spouses cannot make the Amnesty request on behalf of another person.
The Amnesty program does not apply to a defendant who is in custody, previously adjudicated cases, parking fines, administrative fines, confiscations of bonds or civil cases. Individuals can call the Houston helpline by dialing 3-1-1 or 713-837-0311 for questions about their specific case (s) meeting the requirements for Amnesty.
Defendants can take advantage of the Amnesty Program by telephone, mail or in person at any of the Municipal Courts. For additional information about City Courts or court cases, please visit the website at http://www.houstontx.gov/courts/, or call the Houston Helpline at 3-1-1 or 713-837. -0311 if out of Houston.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE AMNESTY 2019 PROGRAM
Why do this?
To resolve the cases that could not be solved in another way and to assist the individuals with penitents matters of the Municipal Court.
When does Amnesty begin?
The Amnesty Program begins on Friday, March 15 and ends on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 11:59 p.m.
What kind of cases are eligible for Amnesty discounts?
Most of transit and non-transit cases that have not been paid on or before February 1, 2019 will be eligible for Amnesty discounts. Parking fines and administrative cases are not eligible for Amnesty. Individuals may call helpline 3-1-1 or 713-837-0311 if outside of the City of Houston to find out if they have cases eligible for Amnesty.
What do I do if I have unpaid parking fines?
Parking fines are not eligible for Amnesty. For more information or assistance regarding the payment of parking fines, call 3-1-1 or 713-837-0311 if outside of the City of Houston.
How can I find out if I have arrest warrants?
Call the City of Houston Helpline at 3-1-1 or 713-837-0311 if outside of the City of Houston, visit the website at http://www.houstontx.gov/courts/, or come in person to any of the locations of the Municipal Courts of the City of Houston.
What are my options if I find out that I have arrest warrants?
You can pay the fines if your cases meet the requirements for Amnesty discounts. You can also post bail and a new hearing date will be given. You always have the option to seek legal advice from a lawyer, or come to any of the locations in the City of Houston Municipal Courts to speak with a judge.
If I go to court to pay, will I be arrested?
No. The City Courts of the City of Houston will not arrest people who come to receive information about their pending cases. We encourage everyone to volunteer to resolve their cases.
If I want to pay my pending cases / orders, what are my payment options?
The payment options are as follows: By phone (3-1-1, 713-837-0311), by mail, or in person at any of the City Cortes of the City of Houston.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, checks, money orders, and American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa.
After I pay, how long will it take to clear my driving record through the DPS?
The Municipal Courts of the City of Houston will send the information to the DPS after payment of their case (s). Please allow 5 to 7 business days for your driving record to be updated in the DPS.