The City of Houston Municipal Courts Department announced the start of their Fresh Start Spring Amnesty Program February 26 at a press conference held at the Herbert W. Gee Municipal Courthouse. For the next three weeks, certain delinquent cases will be discounted to help citizens save money while resolving outstanding cases.
“This Spring ‘Let’s Do It Again!’ we encourage you to begin with a fresh start and a clean slate, if you have delinquent case(s) with the City of Houston, you are urged to come forward and take advantage of these discounted rates,” said Judge J. Elaine Marshall, Director and Presiding Judge of the Municipal Courts Department. “We are here to assist with Amnesty-eligible cases that were delinquent on or before February 1, 2020. Start fresh and put the past behind you by taking care of your delinquent cases, if you have questions, please call us – we are here to help,” Judge Marshall stated.
The Amnesty Program will begin, Friday, February 28, 2020 at 8 a.m. and ends Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Any defendant who voluntarily appears at any Municipal Court location during the amnesty period will be permitted to resolve all of their eligible delinquent cases, including Failure to Appear (FTA) cases, and will not be subject to arrest.
Cases eligible for amnesty include cases that were delinquent on or before February 1, 2020. Only the defendant named in the citation or their attorney can participate in the Amnesty Program. Bonding companies, friends, relatives, and spouses cannot make an amnesty request on behalf of someone else.
The Amnesty Program does not apply to a defendant that is in custody, previously adjudicated cases, parking citations, administrative violations, bond forfeitures or civil cases. Individuals may call the Houston Helpline by dialing 3-1-1 or 713-837-0311 for questions about whether their specific case(s) is amnesty eligible. Defendants may take advantage of the Amnesty Program by phone, US Mail or in person at any Municipal Court location.
For additional information about Municipal Courts or court cases, please visit the website at www.houstontx.gov/courts, or call the Houston Helpline at 3-1-1or 713-837-0311, if outside of Houston.
2020 Amnesty Program FAQ’s
Why are you doing this?
To resolve cases for which all other means of resolution have been unsuccessful and to assist the citizens of Houston with any lingering outstanding Municipal Court issues.
When does Amnesty begin?
The Amnesty Program begins Friday, February 28, 2020 at 8am and ends Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 11:59pm.
What kinds of cases are eligible for Amnesty rates?
Most delinquent traffic and non-traffic citations that were delinquent on or before February 1, 2020 will be eligible for Amnesty discounts. Parking citations and Administrative violations are not eligible for Amnesty. Citizens may call 3-1-1 to find out if they have eligible Amnesty cases.
What do I do if I have a delinquent parking citation?
Parking citations are not eligible for Amnesty. For additional information or assistance regarding paying your parking citation, please dial 3-1-1 or 713.837.0311.
How can I find out if I have warrants?
Dial Houston’s Helpline at 3-1-1, visit the website at www.houstontx.gov/courts or come in person to any City of Houston Municipal Court location.
What are my options if I find out that I have warrants?
You may pay the fines at the applicable Amnesty rates if your cases qualify. You may also be able to post a bond and have your case(s) reset for a new court date. You always have the option to seek legal advice from an attorney or come to any City of Houston Municipal Court location to speak with a judge.
If I come to court to pay, will I be arrested?
No. The City Houston Municipal Courts will not arrest individuals who visit our courthouse to inquire about their delinquent cases. We encourage everyone to come in voluntarily to resolve their cases.
If I want to pay for my delinquent cases/warrants, what are my payment options?
Payment options are as follows: Phone (3-1-1, 713-837-0311), U.S. Mail, or In-Person at any City of Houston Municipal Court location.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, checks, money orders, American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa.
After I pay, how long will it take to clear my driving record through DPS?
The City of Houston Municipal Courts Department will forward the information to DPS upon payment of your case(s). Please allow 5 to 7 business days for your driving record to clear through DPS.