The Great Texas Warrant Roundup of 2013 Is Upon Us
March 2, 2013 marks the beginning of the 2013 Great Texas Warrant Roundup. Currently in its sixth year, the warrant roundup is an annual law enforcement tradition that can spell big trouble for anyone with unpaid traffic tickets. If you have unpaid fines, you may have an outstanding traffic warrant – and without the immediate assistance of a Texas traffic ticket lawyer, the warrant roundup could land you handcuffed in the back of a squad car.
What Is the Warrant Roundup?
The Great Texas Warrant Roundup began in 2007 as a way for law enforcement agencies across the state to collaborate, share information and especially to collectively crack down on outstanding warrants for traffic citations and other relatively minor legal violations. Often, police are not particularly proactive about executing these misdemeanor and traffic offense warrants; the warrant roundup helps spur officers into action on warrants that otherwise may go ignored for extended periods of time.
Make no mistake: with the Great Texas Warrant Roundup in effect, no outstanding warrant will escape notice. When the warrant roundup first started, only a handful of law enforcement agencies from across the state participated. Yet, the original participants were enough to form a solid base for the program, and more entities joined in every year as the Great Texas Warrant Roundup gained steam. Today, as of the end of March 2013, there are 276 law enforcement agencies participating in the warrant roundup; more than half of those agencies are in North Texas alone.
The Great Texas Warrant Roundup on the Ground
So what exactly can you expect from the warrant roundup? In many jurisdictions, anyone with an outstanding warrant is first mailed a warning notice. This notice gives the opportunity to address the matter before facing arrest. Purportedly, the Great Texas Warrant Roundup is held around tax time so that individuals can use their refunds to pay for court fees. Of course, it is inadvisable to admit guilt and directly contact a law enforcement agency about a charge underlying any outstanding warrant, regardless of how seemingly minor it may be, without first consulting a qualified Texas attorney.
Even if you did not receive an outstanding warrant notice, you may not be in the clear. Addresses can change, notices can be lost in the mail and administrative snafus take their toll. And, if you did receive a notice, perhaps you did not have time to deal with it, were worried about whether you could afford to take care of your warrant at the time or simply forgot about it. Whether you received notice or not, an outstanding warrant will subject you to arrest at any place you are found by law enforcement officers during the round up.
Often, this means arrest at your home, school or workplace. In the weeks leading up to the 2013 warrant roundup, many police departments have been documenting specific locations where individuals with outstanding warrants have been habitually parking their vehicles. This information will be shared and tapped by special task forces during the warrant roundup to track down and arrest individuals.
Thousands Will Be Arrested; Take Steps to Protect Yourself
Traffic warrants can be a serious matter. If you have not taken care of an active warrant, you could be arrested and brought to jail in the coming weeks. In the city of Dallas alone, there are more than one million outstanding warrants, each of them a potential target in this year’s Great Texas Warrant Roundup.
If you know you have an outstanding warrant, or have any kind of unpaid traffic tickets and fear there may be a warrant out in your name, it is not too late to protect yourself from an embarrassing arrest, possible time in jail and other serious consequences. If you failed to respond to a traffic ticket, you may still have a right to appear in court and contest the charge, even if there is already a warrant out for your arrest. With the help of a traffic warrant lawyer, you may be able to get your warrant removed, set a new court date and fight your ticket before a judge.
Getting slapped in handcuffs and being hauled off to jail is enough to ruin anyone’s day. If you have unpaid traffic citations, get out ahead of the 2013 warrant roundup: contact a Texas traffic warrant lawyer today.
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