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Low-level offenders get warrant forgiveness

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown will be giving “Second Chances” to low-level offenders at a warrant forgiveness event in Jamaica.
By Naeisha Rose

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced Monday that his office is co-sponsoring “Second Chance, the first-ever summons warrant forgiveness event in the borough, Oct. 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Greater Allen AME Cathedral in Jamaica.

This is a community event unrelated to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s initiative to curb the amount of “broken windows” warrants, or warrants for petty crimes.

Greater Allen AME, located at 110-31 Merrick Blvd., will be filled with staff from Brown’s office, attorneys from the church’s Cathedral Lawyers Guild and members of the Legal Aid Society, according to a spokeswoman for the DA.

The event will be a chance for residents throughout the city with summonses for low-level offenses to have them resolved so long as they bring a valid state-issued photo identification with them, according to the spokeswoman. Immigrant status will not prevent a summons from being resolved.

“An unanswered warrant can result in arrest and, in some instances, jeopardize employment, educational and housing opportunities,” Brown said. “By participating in this event, individuals are offered a clean start by having their summonses adjudicated and ultimately dismissed.”

Summonses for disorderly conduct, consumption of alcohol in public, trespassing, unlawful possession of marijuana, urinating in public, loitering and an unleashed dog are just some of the transgressions that would be forgiven. Individuals do not have to fear being arrested, according to the DA’s office.

In addition, participants at the event will receive free giveaways and information about various community resources available to them.

This initiative is also being co-sponsored by the state Office of Court Administration and the NYPD.

For more information, visit www.queensda.org.

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

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