Bench Warrant Removal Program Helps Defendants Get Back on Track
Published on March 30, 2021
Interim Communications Program Manager
For a limited time, persons with bench warrants in a municipal court within King County can quash a qualified warrant through the Back on Track warrant amnesty program. This program is available from April 1 through June 30, 2021.
While each court has its own procedure for the program, many warrants under $5,000 will be handled administratively, with the warrant immediately removed and a new court hearing scheduled. Warrants over $5,000 and those that involve Domestic Violence, No Contact Orders, DUIs, Physical Control, Reckless Driving or Negligent Driving 1st Degree (amended from a DUI), no matter the amount of the warrant, will be referred to the judge for consideration, depending on court policies.
“This is a great opportunity for people with outstanding arrest warrants in King County to get back on track,” stated Bothell Municipal Court Judge Mara Rozzano. “With COVID-19 restrictions, we understand there has been a lot of confusion about how to access the court system, and many people with court dates have been understandably worried about their health and safety. This program allows individuals with qualified warrants to have an outstanding arrest warrant removed and quickly get back into the court system.”
Individuals with an outstanding bench warrant should contact the specific court where the warrant was issued. Requests to quash warrants can be made by phone, email or in writing. The court may require the citation or case number, personal identification, and updated contact information. If the citation/case number is not known, the court will be able to assist in finding that information. All municipal courts in King County have remote hearing options that do not require in-person contact, including virtual and telephone hearings.
“This pandemic has affected every business and service provider. The courts have also been hit hard. The lack of full in-person operations and technology challenges mean that a lot of people are missing hearings and warrants are being issued. The Back on Track program aims to provide a countywide plan that encourages people to clear these warrants. Renton is a proud partner with neighboring courts to be part of this regional effort,” observed Judge Kara Murphy from Renton Municipal Court.
The Back on Track program runs only from April 1 through June 30, 2021. Individuals who qualify are strongly encouraged to participate and contact courts today. The following courts are actively participating in the Back on Track program: