LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - The Comanche and Cotton County District Attorney’s offices are preparing to a launch a new program that allows people to handle any misdemeanor or traffic warrants while possibly avoiding jail time.
If you have a warrant out for your arrest, the law requires you to go before a judge to have that warrant lifted. If you're arrested on a Friday, you won't be able to see a judge until Monday, meaning you could potentially spend a weekend in jail for a relatively minor offense. District Attorney Fred Smith said that happened recently which prompted them to bring about a change.
"If you recall a few weeks ago, the US Marshal service and other local law enforcement agencies performed what’s called a warrant sweep. They picked up several people who had felony warrants, some more serious than others. This resulted in a spike in our detention center population,” Smith said.
Smith said the Comanche County Jail got up to more than 330 inmates, well above the capacity of 283, and that it’s taken them several weeks to get that number back down. Smith decided that people with outstanding warrants for misdemeanors and traffic offenses don’t need to be filling the jails. So, in the month of October, you just have to show up to his office and they’ll help you get your warrant taken care of.
"We will take them down to see a judge, the judge will set a new bond, a new hearing date if necessary or a new payment schedule on existing fines and costs. We will clear the paperwork out of the computer system and hopefully they will continue and abide by the orders of the court,” Smith said.
Smith said if you take advantage of this program you will not have to hire a bail bondsman and, because the district attorney’s office will be assisting you, you will not have to hire an attorney.
"It will expedite the process, which means they don’t spend a day or weekend in jail waiting to be arraigned and it will save them a considerable amount of money which they may be able to apply to existing fines and court costs,” Smith said.
The District Attorney’s office at the Comanche Courthouse is on the fifth floor. It’s on the 3rd floor of the Cotton County Courthouse in Walters. You can come to get your warrant taken care of Monday through Friday at 1:30 p.m. throughout the entire month of October. Smith said if you’re unsure of whether or not you have a warrant, you can either come to his office or go to OSCN.net
Fred Smith is currently running for re-election to be the District 5 District Attorney, which covers Cotton and Comanche Counties. His opponent is Dick Tannery.