FORT HOOD — Soldiers and civilians with arrest warrants on post for failing to take care of traffic tickets and other low-level charges are being offered a two-week amnesty period to avoid arrest.

Starting Monday, post officials will waive any fines or arrest warrants stemming from unpaid tickets and some misdemeanor charges as long as those charged show up at Fort Hood magistrate court.

Fort Hood’s chief of federal litigation, Capt. Brent Connelly, said any charges for failing to appear will be dismissed.

Those charged are not required to plead guilty or pay any fines; however, they will be given the opportunity to do so. Connelly said anyone wishing to contest their charges will be given a new court date.

“It’s a great program,” Connelly said. “If you’ve got an obligation, you might as well take care of it.”

A public and searchable list of all people with active warrants on post is available at www.hood.army.mil/warrant.list.aspx. Most charges are related to traffic violations, though many are for fishing license violations and low-level criminal offenses, such as trespassing.

The amnesty program runs through April 15. Following its conclusion, post officials will begin a warrant roundup.

Those arrested in the round-up will face additional fines and charges for failing to appear in court on time, Connelly said.

“Any time after that, the amnesty is over,” Connelly said. “It is coming. It’s imminent.”

Active warrants can create embarrassing and inconvenient moments. Connelly recalled instances where soldiers had dates interrupted by an arrest when pulled over for a traffic violation. In another instance, someone was arrested while they had their children in the car.

But for many soldiers, an active warrant can create delays in orders for a permanent change of station.

“If people don’t take care of this, we are going to get them,” Connelly said. “They can come find us or we will come find them.”

Contact Philip Jankowski at philipj@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7553

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