Comanche, Cotton County District Attorney’s Office to start warrant assistance program

Published: Jun. 24, 2020 at 6:20 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The Comanche and Cotton County District Attorney’s Office will start another warrant assistance program on July 1st. It will be offered for both misdemeanors and felony cases.

The program aims to help some people who missed court dates during the pandemic avoid going to jail by rescheduling those cases, which in turn, could also prevent jail overcrowding.

“This is to avoid having to send people to jail, even if it’s just for a day, until they can appear in front of a judge,” said Kyle Cabelka, First Assistant District Attorney for Comanche and Cotton Counties. “We’re going to try to expedite the process and so they can get back out to work and our jail isn’t overly crowded with people that don’t need to be in there to begin with.”

Authorities say they are working together to best assist citizens at the courthouse during the pandemic.

During the courthouse closure, all non-emergency cases that were set for hearing had to be moved, including the scheduled June jury docket.

In a statement to 7News, Special District Judge, Grant Sheperd, said in part:

”All of these cases will have to be made up at some point and we are encouraging all individuals with court hearings that were set during the courthouse closure to call their attorney or follow their case online at oscn.net... Finally, we will work in conjunction with our District Attorney’s office with regard to their warrant assistance program for all that qualify.”

Cabelka said the program is primarily for those who have not been making payments.

“If you have a new case that you’ve never appeared in front of a judge, this program is not intended to avoid that,” said Cabelka. “This is for the cases primarily where you just didn’t either show up because you didn’t know that the case had been continued because of the virus, or because maybe you got behind on payments, you’ve hit hard times, and that you were just worried, ‘if I go to court and I don’t have a receipt to show, that I’m going to have to go to jail.’”

Cabelka said to give the District Attorney’s Office a call, or stop by their offices to check if you have a bench warrant.

The phone number for the Comanche County DA’s Office is 580-585-4444, and in Cotton County it is 580-875-6111. If you do have a bench warrant, they will help you get your hearing rescheduled.

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