Meridian police are advising residents to spend their tax refunds wisely! In coming weeks Meridian Municipal Court will sponsor its second Amnesty Day.
"Rather than locking folks up and them losing their job, or us having to pay a jail fee and people staying away from their families for a certain amount of time, we're giving them jail days that would be house arrest," says Assistant Chief Buck Roberts with the Meridian Police Department.
Here's how Amnesty Day will work:
1. People who owe fines can pay 60% of their fines on that day and get another 60 days to pay the balance.
2. If there is a warrant for a person's arrest for a misdemeanor offense, he or she can appear before a judge on that day and be sentenced to house arrest instead of actually going to jail.
"You'll pay 60%; the judge will sign you up for house arrest; you will not go to jail and once again, this is not a trick!" says Roberts. He also stresses that it's necessary for the defendants to appear in court in person.
"In order to get the 60% they have to be here. If their mother wants to come in and pay their fine off completely, if jail days are not involved, they can do that, but if jail days are involved and they want to get the 60%, they have to come in person."
Last year, more than $21,000 in fines was collected, and 82 jail days were converted to house arrest as part of Amnesty Day in Meridian. This year's Amnesty Day will be held March 8th from 9 AM until 4 PM in Meridian Municipal Court. Only cash, money orders or debit and credit cards will be accepted.