Ferguson judge withdraws arrest warrants - KMOV.com

Ferguson judge withdraws arrest warrants

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FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOV.com) – The new judge in the Ferguson Municipal Court announced an order Monday to withdraw all arrest warrants issued before December 31, 2014.

Judge Donald McCullin, who was appointed in June 2015, also announced changes to conditions for pre-trial release in a Ferguson news release Monday afternoon. Defendants will be given new court dates along with alternative dispositions like payment plans, community service, or commuting fines for indigent persons.

 "These changes should continue the process of restoring confidence in the Court, alleviating fears of the consequences of appearing in Court, and giving many residents a fresh start,” said McCullin. “Many individuals whose license has been suspended will be able to obtain them and take advantage of the benefits of being able to drive. Moreover, defendants will not be disadvantaged in being afforded pre-trial release because of the inability to make bond.”

If a defendant continually fails to appear on their scheduled court date, an arrest warrant may be issued or a request to the Director of Revenue can made seek a set-off of the defendant’s tax return. If an arrest warrant is issued for a minor traffic violation, the defendant will not be incarcerated, but instead released on their own recognizance and given another court date.

All active warrants more than five years old will be withdrawn. In cases where the Director of Revenue suspended a defendant’s driver’s license solely for failing to appear in court or pay a fine, the license will be reinstated pending final disposition.

City of Ferguson Mayor James Knowles said McCullin issued the orders with the Ferguson City Council’s support.

“The Ferguson City Council was informed of the proposed actions by Judge McCullin and applauds the recall of the arrest warrants and the rescission of the driver’s license suspensions in compliance with Senate Bill 5 and as a way to restore confidence in the Municipal Court,” said Knowles.

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