Drivers With Traffic Warrants Not Being Arrested
POSTED: Friday, July 20, 2012 - 5:38pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 9:21am
EL PASO, TX — If a driver is stopped for speeding and they have a traffic warrant, many times they're not arrested and El Paso police said it comes down to time and money.
Another reason many drivers aren't paying the price for unsafe driving could be a discrepancy between the City of El Paso and El Paso County.
Sheriff Richard Wiles said he's concerned this could be causing dangerous driving conditions for all of us.
The sheriff said the city's municipal courts will not release city traffic warrants to the county.
For instance, if a deputy pulls over someone for running a red light in the county, and finds they have five outstanding traffic city warrants, the deputy cannot take them into custody.
Sheriff Wiles believes it has something to do with a $50 fee.
"If you don't pay your ticket and they issue a warrant, they tag on a $50 fee that's payable to the agency that executes the warrant so if the city releases the warrant to us and we execute it, we would get the $50 and that's the reason I was given when I was chief is to why municipal would not release those tickets to the sheriff's," said Sheriff Wiles.
We got a hold of an email sent out to all El Paso Police Department supervisors in July 2008.
It reads "We will no longer do class C re-bookings for the county jail. We also do not re-book sheriff's office warrants."
We called the municipal court spokesperson who said that has changed and said they do release city warrants to the county and they do re-bookings at the county jail.
There's a disagreement about whats going on.
We called the sheriff again and he said he tried getting a city warrant again, but was unsuccessful.
"That warrant sits there and when the person finally gets out, they still have to with that warrant too which can be very time consuming and costly now only for us that law enforcement agencies and municipal court but also for the individual who now has to deal with another warrant that could have been dealt with while they were in jail," said Sheriff Wiles.
The sheriff said everyone should be held responsible for their actions.
"As citizens who are on the roadway, we all want to be safe and so there's an expectation that people who commit unsafe acts will be held accountable for that," said Wiles.
Newschannel Nine called the municipal court spokesperson several times for an interview, but she did not respond.