FIRST, DO NOT PANIC
Did you hear about the “roundup” of people with traffic ticket warrants? Are you worried about getting arrested for your outstanding traffic ticket? Were you personally threated with arrest? Are you eager to take them up on their so-called “amnesty”?
Stop and think before doing anything about it out of fear. Hurrying to traffic court and paying a fine to “take care” of the traffic ticket is something you may regret for a long time. The actual cost to you could be much more than a fine.
Folks, this stuff is not what they say it is. They are lying to you. To put it bluntly, they are using scare tactics to get your money. Usually it works. Fear is a powerful motivator. During these “roundups”, I’ve seen people in massive lines at court where there are typically only a few people.
How Does Is Work?
The “roundup” works by scaring people about the ever so slight chance they may be arrested. Never mind the fact that the warrants are already issued, and many have been outstanding for YEARS. Your warrant could be many years old, yet you haven’t been arrested, not even during previous “roundups”.
Courts send mass mailings to people who did nothing to address the tickets they were issued. Some courts even make phone calls. Local news media routinely cooperates because it provides free and easy news content. They know that frightened people flock to their televisions and turn on the news. Sometimes, a gimmick will get attention. This combined effort creates a whirlwind of fear.
Am I Going to Be Arrested During the Roundup?
Probably not. The possibility of your arrest exists, in fact, so don’t read this and think you cannot be arrested. The likelihood of your arrest is very low, though. Literally millions of traffic warrants are active in Texas. A tiny fraction of traffic ticket warrants result in arrest during “roundups”. Traffic warrants usually get served during unrelated traffic stops and other unplanned encounters between cops and those with warrants.
It is true a handful of cops hunt for people with warrants during “roundups”. They arrest more than they normally would. A few cops routinely will go out and serve ticket warrants, but it is the exception, not the rule.
Warrants for more serious crimes, even violent crime, are outstanding by the thousands in almost every jurisdiction in Texas. For them to single out people with tickets means they choose to ignore people with much more serious warrants. What’s worse is it’s all about collecting money. Prioritizing profit over apprehending dangerous people is about as bad as it gets. (In my opinion, all profit motive should be eliminated from law enforcement.)
An Example of Why You Shouldn’t Be Terrified
Assume a whopping 20 cops (that’s a LOT) are dedicated to serving traffic warrants for a full 8-hour shift. That’s 160 hours of work. Let’s assume lists have been pre-selected for those cops, so they start with lists in hand, complete with home addresses. Let’s further assume everything goes right for them. Imagine them driving to someone’s home, which takes time. Imagine them knocking on the front door and waiting for a response. If they are super lucky, the target answers the door and is immediately arrested. They cuff the person, notify dispatch, put the person in the car, then transport the person to jail. If you’re not familiar with this, know that it can takes cops a LONG time to take someone to jail and get back on the road. By the time the cop leaves to go try to serve another warrant, he/she has invested a 2-4 hours, IDEALLY. If it takes 2 hours total per arrest, that’s 4 per cop, if they are not working in pairs, and everyone is home when they knock. That means 80 people get arrested, a HUGE number. It’s a TINY percentage of the thousands of pending warrants, though. Bottom line: don’t panic.
Finish Reading This Two-Part Blog
Before you run down to the court and pay for your ticket (or enter into a payment plan because you are too poor to pay up front), do yourself a favor and finish reading both blogs. Go to part two >>