Nearly three thousand misdemeanor offenders will soon have a second chance to clear up their ever-growing fines and avoid arrest. Chicot County currently has $2,000,000 in outstanding warrants. Lake Village has $400,000 in outstanding fines.
District Judge Melinda French has announced a new amnesty program for misdemeanor offenders. The program, which is being launched in cooperation with Lake Village Police Department, Eudora Police Department, Dermott Police Department and Chicot County Sheriff’s Office is set up to allow people with active misdemeanor warrants the chance to resolve their court case without facing potential jail time.
The program applies to warrants for failure to appear and failure to comply with the fine payment agreements under the jurisdiction of Lake Village District Court, Eudora District Court and Dermott District Court. The amnesty program will begin on March 15 and run through April 15.
However, to qualify for amnesty, offenders must willingly appear in person at Lake Village Police Department, Eudora Police Department, Dermott Police Department or Chicot County Sheriff’s Office and get a new appearance date. Amnesty will not apply if police serve the warrant prior to offenders willingly presenting themselves in person at the police departments or sheriff’s office.
The amnesty program allows the offender the potential to have their driver’s license reinstated after their court appearance. Law enforcement officials say many people currently have a suspended driver’s license simply because of active failure to appear or failure to pay warrants.
A donation of an unopened unexpired canned good for the local food pantry or pet food for the local animal shelter is requested from amnesty participants when presenting themselves at the police or sheriff’s department.
For more information on the warrant amnesty program, contact Lake Village District Court at (870) 265-3283, Eudora District Court at (870) 355-2878, or Dermott District Court at (870) 538-3476. After hours calls may be made to Lake Village Police Department at (870) 265-5055, Eudora Police Department at (870) 355-4412 or Dermott Police Department at (870) 538-5269.