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Residents Can Clear Warrants During Amnesty Week Beginning Aug. 7 in Jefferson County

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Jefferson County DA Danny Carr

The Birmingham Times

The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office in Birmingham is holding an Amnesty Week event Aug. 7-11 at the Jefferson County Courthouse Criminal Justice Center.

District Attorney Danny Carr said residents can clear their warrants for missing court “without arrest.”

Individuals are eligible “if you have an active warrant for missing court in Jefferson County (Birmingham Division) and have an active non-violent felony misdemeanor, or traffic case in Jefferson County (Birmingham Division)”, he said.

Carr will be volunteering for Amnesty Week and deploying his team to ensure that the event is efficient and helpful for all participants who choose to attend, he said.

“We are just making sure that people understand that this is not a hoax that we’re truly trying to help the community and truly trying to help individuals get these cases behind them,” Carr told AL.com.

Both Carr and Circuit Judge Stephen Wallace recalled multiple participants of the 2021 Amnesty Week crying after meeting with the judges, relieved they were able to set new court dates and have their warrants recalled.

“They are afraid to be productive members of society because they have that warrant out. They’re afraid to drive to work. They’re afraid to go out and look for a job because of that warrant, so we want to allow them to participate in this Amnesty Week,” Carr said.

Jefferson County Public Defender Adam Danneman said people miss their court dates for several valid reasons including childcare, work, or not having the resources or information to attend court.

“When arrest warrants are issued, a lot of people go to jail and get a hearing within 72 hours, but that 72 hours can be real costly for our clients. They could lose jobs, they can lose custody of their kids, they certainly lose their freedom,” Danneman said. “So, the goal of this program is to avoid all of these pretrial arrests for those offenses.”

Community members who are interested in Amnesty Week can call the public defender’s hotline for more information and to verify if they are eligible at 205-307-7021 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.