Orange County details DWI warrant amnesty program, avoid paying for bail bonds or expensive interlock device

Published 4:00 am Monday, April 17, 2023

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An Orange County DWI warrant amnesty program begins May 1.

Judge Troy Johnson and Sheriff Jimmy Lane Mooney announced the effort, which runs through the end of May.

If a person with an outstanding warrant out of Orange County for a misdemeanor Driving While Intoxicated offense shows up in person and turns themselves in at the Orange County Jail during the amnesty period, he/she will save hundreds of dollars by getting a PR or personal bond from the Court and the bond will not require an interlock device to be installed on their vehicle, according to county leaders.

Those who turn themselves in during May “will get a quick release from the jail” after a short book-in process and avoid paying for bail bonds and an expensive interlock device.

Those who takes advantage of the amnesty program will have their cases heard in the County Court at Law No. 2 on June 8 at 2 p.m.

“The Court feels that the time has come to implement the amnesty program because of the large number of DWI cases in the Court,” a county release said. “There are more than 300 pending DWI cases in the Court and more than half of the cases are ‘inactive,’ which means that the defendant in those cases has not been arrested for the DWI.”

Johnson said DWI cases are some of the most important cases the court handles.

“The large number of inactive DWI cases is unacceptable, and this program is a way to finally get those people into the courtroom,” Johnson said. “The pandemic is to blame for many of these inactive cases.”

The County Court at Law No. 2 offered thanks to the Sheriff Mooney and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for cooperation in this program.

The amnesty program only applies to those who are charged with a misdemeanor driving while intoxicated in Orange County and who show up in person to take care of the warrant at the Orange County Jail.

This amnesty program does not apply if:

  • you get arrested for the warrant before you turn yourself in
  • you turn yourself in at another jail
  • the DWI charge is classified as a FELONY
  • the DWI warrant is from another county
  • you have felony warrants
  • you have outstanding warrants existing in other counties (you will probably be arrested if there are felony warrants or warrants in other counties)
  • you have a warrant for a motion to revoke or motion to impose guilt after having been placed on probation for a DWI offense.

To look up an outstanding warrant in Orange County, click here or go to the Orange County, Texas website and click “County Warrants.”