The second annual summons warrant forgiveness program will be held in the Bronx for residents in all five boroughs to clear their records, the Bronx DA’s office announced on Tuesday.
The “Another Chance” event, in partnership with the Office of Court Administration and The Bronx Defenders, will be held on Saturday, Aug. 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Eastchester Presbyterian Church, 3154 Fish Avenue at the corner of East Gun Hill Road in the Baychester section of the Bronx. A resource fair also will be held.
“This is a way to give people ‘Another Chance’ to remove a potential obstacle to employment, citizenship, housing or educational opportunities,” DA Darcel Clark said. “If you have had a minor brush with the law such as drinking alcohol in public, littering or unlawful possession of marijuana and did not address it, you have a warrant.
“If you do not resolve these warrants, they can adversely affect aspects of your life but even more significantly, they can lead to arrest and jail time. I urge those who are eligible for this warrant forgiveness program to clear their records and look to a brighter future.”
There are 1.5 million open summons warrants citywide, 334,000 of them in the Bronx. A mobile courtroom will be created in the Eastchester Presbyterian Church with Honorable Bahaati Pitt, Criminal Court Judge, presiding, as well as attorneys and staff from the Bronx District Attorney’s Office and The Bronx Defenders. Clark said 500 people attended last year’s event and some 355 warrants were cleared.
“Open warrants for low-level summonses affect people’s ability to keep their jobs, homes, and even to remain in this country with their families,” Deputy Managing Director of Criminal Defense Practice at The Bronx Defenders Robyn Mar said. “Events like this can go a long way toward undoing that harm.”
Vendors will be on site providing information and resources on jobs, health care, and social services.