Brooklyn DA asks judge to dismiss over 140K warrants

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DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN -

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez requested Wednesday that a judge dismiss more than 143,000 outstanding warrants that have been on the books for at least 10 years.

The DA's office started the Begin Again program in 2015 under late District Attorney Ken Thompson. Following that success, officials wanted to reduce the backlog.

"It encourages the police department and frees them up," Gonzalez says. "And for our court system, it means that people don't have to wait at arraignments as the court is handling these cases."

Those summonses include minor infractions such as drinking alcohol in public -- low-level offenses that for years have hung over the heads of Brooklyn residents who have failed to show up to court.

The warrant dismissals by city district attorneys took place in four boroughs, with Staten Island being the exception. The move frees up the city's criminal court system of about 645,000 old summonses.

The warrants will be sealed, and it will take 90 days to clear them all. Courts have notified the NYPD to double-check any warrants older than 10 years before making an arrest.

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