ARREST WARRANT DISCLAIMER
“SAFE HARBOR” AMNESTY PROGRAM
FOR DEFENDANTS WITH WARRANTS
WHO VOLUNTARILY TURN THEMSELVES IN
Presiding Judge Kevin Madison announced that his court has initiated a new formal policy of not arresting any individuals with active (Class C) Liberty Hill Municipal Court Warrants who voluntarily turn themselves in to court staff during normal business hours (Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. –5:00 p.m.).
Defendants who have failed to appear in court and have arrest warrants and defendants who have been convicted of charges but have failed to pay their fines and have a capias (writ ordering an arrest) will both be given amnesty and will not be arrested if they voluntarily come to the Liberty Hill Municipal Court. Defendants who appear voluntarily will be given an opportunity to set their cases for court and see a judge or prosecutor or if they just want to pay their fine and costs they can do so on a time payment plan. Time payment plans normally allow defendants 3 months to pay their fines and costs. In special situations the judge may allow a longer period of time, depending on the amount owed and the defendant’s financial situation.
Defendants who are indigent (poor and/or unemployed) and unable to pay their fines or court costs, will be set for a court date to speak to a judge about their financial situation. If the judge makes a judicial finding that a defendant is indigent and unable to pay the fine and court costs, the judge may offer alternatives to the payment of a fine, such as allowing indigent defendants to perform community service, which is credited at the rate of $10 for every hour worked. All community service plans must be for non-profit organizations and must be approved by the court.
In cases of severe financial hardship, the judge has the authority to decrease the fine or number of community service hours required depending on the severity of the defendant’s financial situation. In severe hardship situations the judge may discharge all or part of the fine and court costs, pursuant to Article 45.0491, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
Defendants who do not come in voluntarily, to take care of their warrants, are subject to arrest in any public place and their place of employment. Defendants who are arrested will be transported and booked into the Williamson County Jail. Their cars may be impounded if the arrest takes place during a traffic stop. Once booked into jail, defendants will be required to post bail before being released.
It is always best to appear in court and take care of your court cases rather than refusing to appear. If you voluntarily appear at Liberty Hill Municipal Court to work out a payment plan or to request a court hearing- you will not be arrested. If you have questions about your warrant, contact Court Administrator, Tracy Ventura at (512) 515-5410.
TYPES OF WARRANTS
WARRANT OF ARREST (Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 45.014)
When a sworn complaint or affidavit based on probable cause has been filed before the municipal court, the judge may issue a warrant for the arrest of the accused and deliver the same to the proper officer to be executed.
CAPIAS PRO-FINE (Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 45.045)
A Capias Pro-Fine is an order directing any Texas Peace Officer to immediately arrest a defendant and bring that defendant immediately before the court to show cause (good reason) why that person has failed to satisfy the judgment (pay their fine and court costs). Unlike an Arrest Warrant, a Capias Pro Fine is issued after a defendant has been convicted of an offense.
Judge Kevin R. Madison
Liberty Hill Municipal Court