July 28, By Jason Cohen
The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens District Attorneys announced Wednesday that they will be dismissing nearly 700,000 open summons warrants next month.
They will be dismissing warrants issued for low level crimes that took place more than 10 years ago. These warrants were never triggered because the alleged perpetrators were not arrested in the past decade.
The warrants stem from summonses issued for minor infractions, according to the DAs, such as riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, drinking beer in public, disorderly conduct, and being in a park after dark. They claim that dismissing the warrants won’t put the public’s safety at risk.
Approximately 100,000 warrants will be dismissed in Queens.
“The prosecution of thousands of 10-year-old and older summons part cases would pose serious factual and legal challenges,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. “The NYPD has vetted the list and excluded the most flagrant violators who may still be prosecuted if apprehended. We believe the people of Queens County will be better served by focusing our resources on more serious offenses.”
There are approximately 1.5 million open summons warrants citywide. These summons warrants, when left unresolved, subject those who have them to an automatic arrest when questioned by police on the street or during a traffic stop. They may also carry a number of negative consequences, including impeding one’s ability to apply for citizenship, to secure employment or obtain public housing, and subject undocumented immigrants to deportation.
The warrants will be dismissed in court proceedings in each county next month.