Are warrant roundups in Texas cost-effective?
In line with the Great Texas Warrant Roundup, Dallas and many other cities throughout Texas have joined forces to collect on delinquent traffic fines. However, some question whether the initiative is even worth it.
According to Dallas News, 893 arrests were made during the 2012 roundup. This included those who ignored traffic tickets. Those arrested represented $538,000 in delinquent fines. However, once the matters reached the municipal system, approximately 96 percent of defendants in that year were granted “time-served” status. This meant criminal consequences in terms of punishment had been fulfilled, and defendants were not required to pay. In sum, fines assessed were $20,360. However, when the council was briefed in 2012, reports suggest that Dallas had only gathered $2,200. This is alarming, as the cost of the operation is approximately $71,000.
Nevertheless, supporters warrant roundups seem to believe that the system is ultimately worth it. They believe the tactic allows courts to move in a more positive direction, in general.
Specifically, the implementation of the system means judges are offering less time served (the period between arrest and posting bond). Moreover, supporters suggest that offenders are paying fines more often in an effort to avoid community service or jail time. Ultimately, those with traffic citations are purportedly opting to pay tickets in lieu of harsher consequences.
Nevertheless, critics still wonder whether roundups are financially sound. Moving forward, the city will undoubtedly continue to measure the cost effectiveness of the system relative to prior years. Sources suggest the roundups may continue to lose money – especially examining past collections for Dallas.
However, Dallas News notes that it is unlikely that the system will end anytime soon. This is because the scheme serves as a deterrent. People are scared by the possibility of arrest and often end up paying the dues.
Warrant roundups in Texas
Roughly 300 entities are participating in the Texas roundups. Most involve municipal courts, police departments, Justices of the Peace and more. However, the initiative also includes the municipal court system of Fort Worth. That equates to thousands of warrants. It also includes the Texas Attorney General’s Office and the Dallas County Justice Courts.
If you would like to learn more about warrant roundups or you are facing financial consequences for your traffic citation, contact an experienced legal professional in the area. A lawyer can work with you to resolve any pending issues related to your traffic warrant.