Friday, thousands of people with a warrant for their arrest in Grandview, MO, could clear their name from that list with no risk of going to jail.
The event is called Amnesty Day and Friday is the first day someone can turn themselves in with no risk of arrest or paying a fee for failing to appear. The goal is to trim down the long list of over 5,000 people who have a municipal warrant for their arrest.
It's a quiet Friday morning, but the municipal courtroom could soon be packed with people who chose to turn themselves in.
"(They could be) People with a variety of outstanding warrants," Ana Nixon with Grandview Public Information said.
The warrants are for municipal cases only, ranging from speeding to unpaid parking tickets to assault. It's being done in an effort to clear the city's backlogged system. The municipal court does not handle more severe criminal cases such as homicide investigations.
"We have over 5,000 people with outstanding warrants. Our hope is that we can help them clear their name and become productive citizens again. Also, from the administrative perspective, we won't have to do so much paperwork over and over," Nixon said. "Every time they have a court date and don't appear it just means a lot of paperwork."
The city will waive failure to appear fees, but will collect fees for each offense at Friday's event. The judge will also set up court dates and payment plans.
"It would be great if we could get all these fines we haven't seen in the past," Nixon said.
Most of the people on the list have committed what is considered a more petty crime and have failed to come to court or pay the fine. The event is a one-day only chance to stay out of jail for free.
"There are no tricks here, we guarantee you won't be arrested. The failure to appear charges will be dismissed," Nixon said. "We are just willing to work with them to make sure they clear their name and also we get them out of our warrants list."
Amnesty Day runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.
People can turn themselves in at the municipal court at 1200 Main St.
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