Let's say you were supposed to be at court for something minor, like having an open container of alcohol in public.
Let's also say your appointed day in Santa Fe's municipal court came and went, and you didn't show up. The judge then decided to issue a bench warrant.
Now you might be afraid to show up to court for fear of going to jail. But at least until Wednesday afternoon this week, you can show up to take care of unfinished court business without risking time behind bars.
For the first half of this week, Santa Fe Municipal Court Judge Virginia Vigil is overseeing the court's "Safe Surrender" program, where people with bench warrants or additional fines can come in and pay off the original citation without extra penalties.
Jon Singh, the court administrator there, says the program typically happens once or twice a year. It helps the court "clean up" outstanding issues with bench warrants, he says.
“We have 3,000 warrants out there, and last time we did it we had 186 people, or warrants, cleared up,” Singh tells SFR. “It wasn’t necessarily them coming in; we found out people are in prison, people have been deceased.”
If you're not dead or in prison but have a bench warrant out for your arrest—or you think you might—Singh says you can come by the courthouse at 2511 Camino Entrada until Wednesday at 4 pm without fear of getting arrested.