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Baker holding warrant amnesty program in February

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BAKER - The court system in Baker will start up an amnesty program in February for those with outstanding bench warrants.

The program runs the entire month of February for people with warrants dating before Jan. 31, 2015. People will be allowed to have the warrant recalled without paying the normal $100 bench warrant fee. The defendant will be given a new court date and time to pay outstanding fees.

For the City Court of Baker it's a way to put a dent in the ongoing battle with thousands of outstanding warrants. Right now, Baker has 6,753 outstanding bench warrants. The court held two amnesty months last year and recalled 727 warrants.

"We want to clear those bench warrants," said Judge Kirk A. Williams. "Those are of course dollars that are outstanding for the bench warrant fees as well as unresolved manners that are just lurking on our books, and we're having to of course keep these files open."

Williams says people should take advantage of the program to avoid jail time.

"For them it's an incredible saving plus. They avoid the inconvenience of being arrested, being away from their families and having to come up with the monies in dealing with bail bondsman or whomever else it is that facilitates them being released," said Williams.

Baker Police Chief Mike Knaps says his officers will hold a warrant roundup sometime after the amnesty program to arrest people with outstanding warrants.

"For the people who don't come in and take advantage of the amnesty program during its time, you will then be approached at your home by a Baker Police officer in a warrant roundup," he said. "I would much rather see you in the court on your own than my deputies having to pick you up and place you in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison to handle it that way."

You can call Baker City Court at (225) 778-1866 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to find out if you have any outstanding warrants in Baker.



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