Amnesty would clear Oklahoma City municipal court dockets, relieve low-level offenders of burdensome costs

By William CrumStaff writerwcrum@oklahoman.comWard 6 Councilwoman JoBeth Hamon says the justice system's tendency to criminalize poverty would be lessened under a measure being considered by the Oklahoma City Council.
The measure would establish an amnesty window, giving thousands of offenders who missed court dates a chance to pay a reduced fine, or have fines excused if they cannot pay.
"Particularly, because those living in poverty or with a serious mental illness or substance use disorder have obstacles that may be contributing to the fact that they haven’t taken care of these charges previously, this reduces the compounding fees for failure to appear and gets rid of any warrant they might have," Hamon said Monday.
Pursuant to an order issued by Municipal Court Presiding Judge Philippa James, the window for resolving low-level offenses would open July 1 and run through March 31, 2020.
An individual with an unpaid speeding ticket for driving 1 to 10 mph over the limit could resolve the case for $155.
That is close to the cost of the original ticket and a reduction of about 75% from the $613 that accumulates after an individual fails to pay a citation and the court issues a warrant.
Individuals who still cannot pay would be offered an indigency hearing in which costs could be excused.
Similar savings would be offered for other unresolved traffic offenses, reducing fines and fees to $166, and for nonjury criminal cases, to $161.
Ward 8 Councilman Mark Stonecipher, the council's Judiciary Committee chairman, said the program provides an avenue to get lingering cases "off the books, get rid of the warrants.Read more on NewsOK.com

By William Crum
Staff writer
wcrum@oklahoman.com

Ward 6 Councilwoman JoBeth Hamon says the justice system's tendency to criminalize poverty would be lessened under a measure being considered by the Oklahoma City Council.

The measure would establish an amnesty window, giving thousands of offenders who missed court dates a chance to pay a reduced fine, or have fines excused if they cannot pay.

"Particularly, because those living in poverty or with a serious mental illness or substance use disorder have obstacles that may be contributing to the fact that they haven’t taken care of these charges previously, this reduces the compounding fees for failure to appear and gets rid of any warrant they might have," Hamon said Monday.

Pursuant to an order issued by Municipal Court Presiding Judge Philippa James, the window for resolving low-level offenses would open July 1 and run through March 31, 2020.

An individual with an unpaid speeding ticket for driving 1 to 10 mph over the limit could resolve the case for $155.

That is close to the cost of the original ticket and a reduction of about 75% from the $613 that accumulates after an individual fails to pay a citation and the court issues a warrant.

Individuals who still cannot pay would be offered an indigency hearing in which costs could be excused.

Similar savings would be offered for other unresolved traffic offenses, reducing fines and fees to $166, and for nonjury criminal cases, to $161.

Ward 8 Councilman Mark Stonecipher, the council's Judiciary Committee chairman, said the program provides an avenue to get lingering cases "off the books, get rid of the warrants.
Read more on NewsOK.com

Read more on Newsok 

Related News
All-City boys golf: Oklahoma Christian School’s Jaxon Dowell found new level
By Jacob UnruhStaff writerjunruh@oklahoman.comEDMOND — Oklahoma Christian School junior Jaxon Dowell has felt great plenty of times on a golf course.Read more on NewsOK.comRead more on Newsok
READ MORE
The Latest: Amnesty urges Egypt to investigate Morsi’s death
CAIRO (AP) — The Latest on former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's death during a court hearing (all times local):9:50 p.m.A leading human right group is urging Egypt to investigate the ...
READ MORE
Amnesty warns war crimes continuing in Sudan’s Darfur
KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — Sudanese security forces have continued to commit "war crimes and other serious human rights violations" in the Darfur region, Amnesty International said on Tuesday, as the ...
READ MORE
Richard P. Matsch, judge who oversaw Oklahoma City bombing trials in Denver, dies at 88
U.S. District Court Judge Richard P. Matsch, who presided over the Oklahoma City bombing cases in his Denver courtroom, has died, the federal court announced Monday.Read more on NewsOK.comRead more ...
READ MORE
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — ConocoPhillips has settled a lawsuit with homeowners in northwestern Oklahoma City who accused the energy company of polluting their water supply and soil to such a ...
READ MORE
Staff reportsRepairs are under way on 18 of Oklahoma City’s 182 outdoor warning sirens.Two of the sirens, 12103 W Memorial Road, 11350 NW 150, were in an area where rotation ...
READ MORE
FROM STAFF REPORTSThere are 3,890 power outages in central Oklahoma, with most of the reports of outages being in Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co.Read more on NewsOK.comRead ...
READ MORE
The Sparrow Project to benefit from home tour in Oklahoma City
By Richard MizeReal Estate editor rmize@oklahoman.comThere is life after high school for some intellectually disabled adults in Moore and south Oklahoma City, thanks to The Sparrow Project.There is life after ...
READ MORE
All-City boys golf: Oklahoma Christian School’s Jaxon Dowell
The Latest: Amnesty urges Egypt to investigate Morsi’s
Amnesty warns war crimes continuing in Sudan’s Darfur
Richard P. Matsch, judge who oversaw Oklahoma City
ConocoPhillips settles Oklahoma City water pollution lawsuit
18 Oklahoma City tornado sirens not working, city
Power outages reported in Oklahoma City, central Oklahoma
The Sparrow Project to benefit from home tour

Share Button

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *