Saturday at Grand Street Settlement, You Can Take Care of Old Warrants

Photo: New York City District Attorneys office.
Photo: New York City District Attorneys office.
Photo: New York City District Attorneys office.

Coming up this Saturday on the Lower East Side, there’s a chance for people with outstanding warrants to take care of the legal cloud hanging over their heads.

This morning, District Attorney Cy Vance announced a “clean slate forgiveness event.” A mobile courtroom will be set up at Grand Street Settlement (80 Pitt St.) from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. The DA says the event offers:

…a chance to resolve outstanding summons warrants for disorderly conduct, public consumption of alcohol, unlawful possession of marijuana, and other low-level offenses on-site, without fear of arrest. Clearing these warrants reduces unnecessary case processing in the overburdened court system and provides holders of open summons warrants a fresh start.

A similar event in Harlem last year attracted 700 people.  The Clean Slate initiative is not an amnesty program, but many of the cases reviewed following the 2015 event were dismissed. Unanswered summonses can lead to arrests. The Office of Court Administration, the Legal Aid Society and Grand Street Settlement have all partnered for the program.

UPDATE 5:19 p.m. More details from the D.A.’s office:

In an effort to reduce unnecessary arrests for low-level summons warrants, and to provide those with open summons warrants a fresh start, District Attorney Vance is partnering with the Office of Court Administration, the NYPD, and the Legal Aid Society to host Clean Slate, a one-day warrant forgiveness event. The types of summons warrants that can be cleared at this event include:

· Disorderly Conduct

· Public Consumption of Alcohol

· Public Urination

· Littering

· Unlawful Possession of Marijuana

· Others, including some subway offenses
In addition to the outstanding warrant, the underlying summons can also be resolved at this event without fines or other penalties. The presiding judge will issue Adjournments in Contemplation of Dismissal, or ACDs, which require the recipient to avoid new arrests for six months, before the dismissal and sealing of his or her case. Warrants for felony or misdemeanor charges cannot be resolved at Clean Slate, but Legal Aid attorneys will be present to offer free legal advice in an effort to help individuals resolve such cases. Additionally, Clean Slate will offer a resource fair with job training, healthcare information, and referral services on-site.

Family members are welcome, and free prizes will be given away all day. Open summons warrants from any of the five boroughs can be resolved at this event, regardless of one’s current residence or immigration status. There will be interpreters available on-site to assist Spanish, French, and Mandarin speakers, and translation services for other languages will also be available. Those wishing to clear open summons warrants must bring a photo ID, but it is not necessary to bring the original summons.

For more information about Clean Slate and qualifying offenses, visit our website, or call 212-335-3310.