Friday, January 22, 2016

Roland Grants 50 Percent Amnesty for Bench Warrants

Roland Court Clerk Maudeen Vann accepts a speeding ticket payment from Aprentice Marable of Oklahoma City. A bench warrant will not be issued for Marable since he paid his ticket. Those who do have bench warrants issued for non-payment may take advantage of the town’s amnesty program in February, when 50 percent payments will be accepted.

Roland town officials have a heart this February. They are offering amnesty to all those who have outstanding bench warrants for traffic and minor drug violations.

Town Administrator Monte Lenington said the warrant amnesty will run from Feb. 1 through 29. The town has 3,200 outstanding misdemeanor warrants.

Lenington said, “We want to get these off our books and retire them. This way we can give the offenders a break and we can all be better off.”

Lenington warned that not showing up for court or not paying a traffic or misdemeanor fine or not making arrangements for payment results in the bench warrant being issued for the offender. That could lead to the loss of a driver’s license and even more traffic tickets, fines and costs.

“That suspended license can cause more problems,” Lenington pointed out.

If the fine is turned over to a collection agency, more costs are added on. The collection agency has a 35 percent recovery fee, which is added to the cost of the ticket.

During the February amnesty program, the collection agency has agreed to reduce its percentage, Lenington said.

He explained that an average speeding ticket, with collection fee, is about $473. During the warrant amnesty program the offender will owe $237.

To qualify for the amnesty the offender must pay the 50 percent in full with cash, a money order, a cashier’s check or a credit/debit card. No payment arrangements will be allowed.

Payments may be made to Vann between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the court clerk’s office. 

Lenington said now is the time to take care of those unpaid traffic tickets.

He said, “People will be getting their tax refunds back in February. And the state has the authority for state taxes to be withheld for those unpaid warrants.”

For more information on Roland’s amnesty program contact Vann at 918-427-6829, ext. 1.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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