Beginning March 5, 2016, cities and law enforcement agencies across Texas have once again combined efforts to actively locate individuals with outstanding arrest warrants.
The Great Texas Warrant Roundup is held every year across the state of Texas, with nearly 300 jurisdictions joining in on the effort to settle outstanding warrants, specifically those issued as a result of unpaid traffic tickets. Warrants are regularly served by each jurisdiction, so by joining forces, it gives these cities and law enforcement agencies a greater opportunity to follow through on those outstanding warrants.
Law enforcement officials in the Greater Houston area are encouraging individuals with outstanding warrants to proactively come forward to handle their outstanding fines and get rid of their existing arrest warrants. They are also suggesting that it could be in the best interest of everyone with an outstanding warrant to consult with a licensed and experienced attorney prior to walking into a court to handle them.
An attorney can help anyone on the list post a bond to suspend the arrest warrant which sends their case back before a jury to be decided. If anyone has forgotten to pay a ticket or appear for a court date, they may have an outstanding warrant in their name. In addition to risking arrest and jail time, anyone with an unpaid fine or warrant during the Texas Warrant Roundup could find it difficult to even renew their vehicle registration until the warrant is resolved.
The roundup usually lasts for several weeks and is broken down into phases.
Prior to the Roundup, notices are mailed out to any Houstonian or Texan who currently has an arrest warrant with their name on it. In some cases notices may be left on doors and phone calls are sometimes made as well, but keep in mind that not every person with an active arrest warrant will receive such notice.
After attempting to send communication to everyone on the list, law enforcement officials will begin targeting those on the list and serving those warrants. This could prove embarrassing for many if the outstanding warrants are not handled in advance, because the warrants could be served while they are at work, at home with their family or at school with their children.
While no official results of the 2014 Roundup are currently available, the 2011 Roundup cleared nearly 30,000 outstanding warrants in Houston and Harris County. The majority of those warrants were for traffic violations in which the recipient neglected to make their mandated court appearance. While thousands of people did come forward in advance to pay those outstanding fines and handle their business, there were over 4,000 arrests made during the 2011 Warrant Roundup. The City of Houston brought in over $2 million in fines during the 2011 Roundup.
The City of Houston’s Municipal Courts Department and Houston Police Department (HPD) will be participating in the Roundup, as will the City of Missouri City.
HPD will be assisted by the Texas Attorney General’s Fugitive Apprehension Unit to search for individuals with outstanding warrants. A complete list of participating regional partners and more information about warrants or outstanding citations can be found at www.houstontx.gov/courts or by contacting the Houston Helpline at 3-1-1 or 713.837.0311, if outside the City of Houston. Individuals with warrants outside of the City of Houston should contact those jurisdictions for information about how to clear their outstanding warrants.
Payment options for warrants issued by the City of Houston Municipal Courts are as follows:
By Telephone: Call 713.221.0288 (24-hour payment line)
By Mail: Municipal Courts Dept., P.O. Box 4996, Houston, TX 77210-4996
By Western Union (use code: Ticket Texas)
In Person: At any of the following court locations listed below:
• Herbert W. Gee Municipal Courthouse
(Central Municipal Courts Building)
Houston, TX 77002
• Acres Homes / North Command Station
9455 West Montgomery
Houston, TX 77088
• Southeast Command Station
Houston, TX 77048
• Westside Command Station
3203 South Dairy Ashford
Houston, TX 77082
• Clear Lake Sub-Station
2855 Bay Area Boulevard
Houston, TX 77058
• Kingwood Annex Court
3915 Rustic Woods
Kingwood, TX 77339
To pay a fine in Missouri City:
Call 281-403-8669 and pay with a credit card
Go to Missouri City Municipal Court at 3845 Cartwright Rd. Extended hours will be in effect at the Court during the Roundup and will include a 24-hour opportunity to make a payment: a drop-box located to the left of the Court entrance.
If you know, or are not sure, if you have an outstanding warrant or a delinquent traffic, misdemeanor (Class C) citation, or delinquent parking citations do not leave it to chance.
Take care of it today!