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Clean Slate summons warrant forgiveness event coming to Manhattan

Cyril Josh Barker | 11/19/2015, 11:37 a.m.
Clean Slate is an upcoming warrant forgiveness where New York criminals with warrants can have them cleared without being arrested.
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Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the New York Police Department, the Office of Court Administration and the Legal Aid Society are hosting Clean Slate, an upcoming warrant forgiveness event where New Yorkers with open summons warrants for qualifying crimes can have them cleared from their record without being arrested.

Clean Slate will take place this Saturday, Nov. 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Soul Saving Station Church on the corner of West 124th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard.

Open summons warrants from any of the five boroughs can be resolved at the event, regardless of where an individual lives or the individual’s immigration status. The summons warrants that can be cleared at this event include disorderly conduct, littering, public alcohol consumption, unlawful possession of marijuana and others.

Those wishing to clear open summons warrants must bring a photo ID. Interpreters will be available onsite to assist.

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson has held similar events in his borough at Emmanuel Baptist Church.

Vance was joined at a press conference in Harlem by Supervising Judge Tamiko A. Amaker, NYPD Deputy Chief Frank Vega, Attorney-in-Charge Irwin Shaw of the Legal Aid Society’s Manhattan office, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James and others.

“We hope to help hundreds of New Yorkers get a clean slate this Saturday by clearing outstanding summons warrants from their records,” said Vance. “Open warrants can weigh heavily on those who carry them due to the constant risk of arrest following a police encounter. Even for minor violations like littering or drinking in public, open warrants can affect the warrant holder’s immigration status, and even his or her ability to get a job or enlist in the armed forces.”

James said the criminal justice system should be a foundation that stabilizes communities, not an anchor that weighs people down.

“The Clean Slate warrant forgiveness program is a critical step in rebuilding police and community relations,” she said.

City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez added that thousands of New Yorkers are under threat of arrest because of outstanding warrants for minor charges.

“With the Clean Slate program, we have the opportunity to open a new chapter in these individuals’ lives by letting them close the old,” Rodriguez said.

Underlying summonses can also be resolved 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 the Clean Slate event. However, Legal Aid attorneys will be present to offer free legal advice in an effort to help resolve these cases. Additionally, Clean Slate will offer a resource fair with job training, health care information and referral services onsite.