Individuals who have unpaid fines can avoid a jail stay with a limited time offer by Jefferson County Division 1 District Judge Kim Bridgforth through a program called “Amnesty Days,” the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office announced in a Tuesday news release.


“It is estimated that there are hundreds of outstanding warrants for people who failed to appear for court dates, or have overdue fines and costs to pay for misdemeanor offenses in district court,” the news release said.


“Beginning Wednesday, July 25-27 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., people will have yet another opportunity to resolve unpaid fines and costs without the fear of being arrested at work, home or during a traffic stop as a result of the issuance of a warrant,” Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Operations Commander Major Lafayette Woods, Jr. said in the news release.


“Our office is working in conjunction with Judge Bridgforth and her court staff as part of ‘Amnesty Days.’”


Amnesty Days was last offered in 2017 and included the following:Dismissal of misdemeanor arrest warrantsMisdemeanor traffic violationsMisdemeanor hot check violationsResetting of court proceedings associated with warrants for arrest to include failure to appear and failure to comply


The Amnesty Program allows anyone with active warrants to come and pay on their fines without being arrested, the news release said. The bench warrant fee will be dismissed and a court date will be given to set up a payment plan.


“It’s beneficial for the county to collect the fines and it’s equally beneficial for those who owe money to pay up and work towards clearing their record,” Woods said in the release.


“The opportunity to come in without fear of being arrested and be given a second chance does not come often. I believe the judicial system recognizes that sometimes people simply forget about fulfilling their obligations to the courts or just don’t have the money to satisfy their fines. However, in either of those situations, it is best those who find themselves in one or the other to speak with the court directly instead of ignoring the issue. The longer it lingers, the more expensive it gets and it just doesn’t go away.”


People who do not take advantage of the offer may be subject to additional criminal charges and additional fines and costs for failure to appear in court, failure to obey a court order and/or fines and costs when the warrant is served, according to the news release.


Details: Contact Division 1-Jefferson County District Court at (870) 541-4646.