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Lehi judge sets period of amnesty

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LEHI — Justice Court Judge Garry Sampson has declared an amnesty period for those who have outstanding warrants for failing to appear in his court.

"What we're going to do is a Labor Day incentive, a grace period of amnesty," Sampson said.

The grace period will be Sept. 1 to Sept. 15.

For those who go to Lehi Justice Court or call, the judge will waive the $70 fee for failure to appear. They still will have to pay the fine for their original citation.

The amnesty does not cover mandatory warrants — those with driving-under-the-influence citations, domestic-violence citations and others.

Richard Schwermer, assistant administrator of the Utah Administrative Office of the Courts, said different courts in the state have tried amnesty through the years with good results.

"People come in and get outstanding warrants removed and cases closed," Schwermer said. "It's a good way to clear out the deadwood cases."

Salt Lake City courts do it every four to five years, he said.

A traffic citation must be resolved within 14 days. If it isn't resolved, a warrant may be automatically issued for the violator's arrest.

Sampson said some of those with warrants just forget about citations and they get pulled over while driving. At that time, they are either told they have a warrant and to take care of it immediately, or they can be taken into custody.

Sampson said hundreds of warrants were on record.