New municipal court reforms take effect Friday

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KTVI) - A new state law mandating municipal court reform takes effect Friday. The law will cap how much municipalities can collect from traffic tickets.

There are at least 82 municipal courts in the county and most, like Maryland Heights, have agreed to expand the reform measures to give people a second chance.

For months, judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys have been looking to improve the judicial system beyond the revenue cap. This comes after a year of protest and frustration with the way fines and warrants mount up and cripple people.

The St. Louis County Municipal Courts Improvement Committee announced Thursday those with minor traffic violations will get a fresh start. Most courts have agreed to some level of warrant recall and the removal of administrative license suspensions.

It's estimated there are almost 200,000 outstanding warrants in county municipal courts. Offenders will be given a new court date eliminating the fear of arrest.

According to Overland Municipal Court Judge Frank Vatterott, this is a new beginning. If your license has been suspended, you will receive notice of the reinstatement by mail from the department of revenue. But remember you will have to get a new court date for the violation.