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Beware! Check your mail early next week for large, yellow postcards with WARRANT for your arrest on the cover. Residents who receive these mailed warrant warnings will have the opportunity to take care of outstanding fines – either by paying online or at the Justice of the Peace designated on the card.
Hidalgo County initiated the warrant postcard program, in part, to take the burden off constables that previously had to hand deliver warrants for minor offences, such as traffic citations.
“Before this program, my officers had to go door to door – which was not the most efficient use of resources,” said Precinct 2 Constable Martin Cantu. “This program will allow my staff to focus on the more serious offenders.”
The postcards will be mailed Friday by a service that has verified the address to cut back on mail coming back, said Hidalgo County Chief Information Officer Renan Ramirez.
“We believe the postcard will suffice to prompt most people to pay,” said Ramirez. “Once the fine is paid, the warrant will be cleared and residents will not have to worry about being arrested.”
To pay online, visit pay.hidalgocounty.us and follow the instructions to be routed to the screen where the citation information will be listed and a payment can be made.
“This is just the first batch; we’re mailing about 11,000 postcards for people with warrants issued from 2012 to today,” Ramirez said. “Then we’ll begin working backward until we’re caught up. So, don’t wait. If you know you have a pending ticket, check yourself.”
The program, which costs the county about $7,000 for printing and the mailing service, is expected to not only pay for itself but to generate $10,000 or more in this first round, Ramirez said.