Sevier County District Judge Manya Wood announced implementation of her annual "Amnesty Program", designed to assist citizens who may have an outstanding warrant in Sevier County District Court for "failure to appear" or "contempt of court for failing to pay fines". Both of those charges result in a warrant being issued against the person for non-compliance.
The warrants carry a "cash only" bond, which means that until the full amount of the underlying charge plus the bond on the new charge are paid, the individual arrested remains in jail until his next court appearance.
The Amnesty Program is designed to give citizens the opportunity to satisfy their outstanding obligations with the court without being arrested.
This year's Amnesty Program will run from Feb. 18 to April 15.
The terms of the Amnesty Program are as follows:
1. Any person with an outstanding warrant for failure to appear or failure to comply wherein the underlying charge is a traffic violation or qualifying charge in Sevier County, may have the warrant withdrawn by paying in full the fine and costs of the underlying charge.
2. Payments shall be made at the Sevier County District Clerk's Office, which is located on the second floor of the Sevier County Courthouse.
3. Payments will only be accepted starting Feb. 18, 2019 and continue until April 15, 2019, when the program terminates.
4. The Amnesty Program does not apply to certain underlying charges for which there is a mandatory court appearance, such as DWI and certain misdemeanors. The Sevier County District Clerk's Office can advise individuals if their offense requires a mandatory court appearance.
5. Anyone arrested during the Amnesty Program period will not be allowed to take advantage of the program and will be subjected to the standard judicial process.
Wood said that "tax refund time is an excellent time for people to pay their outstanding fines and avoid being arrested on outstanding warrants". If anyone has any questions about the program they can call the Sevier County District Clerk's Office, 870-584-7311.