Students with warrants might find the police knocking on their doors come Saturday.The San Marcos Police Department is participating in a statewide warrant roundup.
Rusty Grice, deputy marshal of the San Marcos Police Department, is in charge of warrants.
“From Saturday on, we will pick a date and will be looking for you,” Grice said. “We don’t give the exact time that we go out obviously, because people would not be home.”
Grice said citizens with outstanding warrants will be searched for and arrested at home, work or school. He said the police department warns those with warrants beforehand.
“We sent out about 2,800 letters to the addresses that we are given,” Grice said. “People can also look on the city Web site, and they can search for their names. We have had this information out since Feb. 17.”
There are 8,233 names on the online warrant list. Students with charges can pay fines or schedule a court appearance during open hours at the San Marcos Municipal Court.
Warranted citizens must pay half of their fine to see a judge, except for special times this Friday.
“We require half of their fine to talk to the judge, mainly because they didn’t come in the first time,” Grice said. “This Friday, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m., individuals can come in and talk to the judge without paying any money up front.”
Grice said the warrants are for those who failed to pay class C misdemeanor tickets. He said students with warrants should not let the situation “snowball.”
“There are a lot of students that think when they graduate and leave here, no big deal,” Grice said. “In the state of Texas, the Department of Public Safety will put a hold on your driver license if you have a warrant. Let’s say you get stopped and they run your license. If it comes back with a warrant, they will impound your car and take you to jail. You will have to pay both tickets and the $150 a day to get your car back. It just adds up.”
Grice said students receive more than 50 percent of warrants in San Marcos. Students receiving warrants from the University Police Department are involved in the roundup.
“The university doesn’t have a court here on campus, so we have them issued to the San Marcos Municipal court,” said Officer Otto Glenewinkel. “Parking tickets are the only tickets you can pay on campus.”
Glenewinkel said it boils down to the court receiving their money.
“With a warrant, unless you have to go in front of a judge, you post the money and you’re out,” Glenewinkel said. “They just want you to pay your money.”
Pablo Martinez, assistant professor in the department of criminal justice, said the roundup is both positive and negative.
“I think it is a reminder that we are a society of laws, and if we don’t abide by these laws, there is a consequence,” Martinez said. “On the other hand, it’s hard for those young people who are having economical difficulties.”