City workers spread awareness of summonses law change

Posted: Updated:
GREENPOINT -

City workers were in McCarren Park in Greenpoint Thursday to make New Yorkers aware about the change to how the city handles low-level offenses.

Those offenses include drinking in public and being in a park after dark. Anyone busted for those could have had a criminal record and even served jail time.

"If you take care of it within about 45 days, it disappears and there's no record," says Fidel Del Valle, a chief administrative law judge.

There are also lower fines -- usually between $25 and $100 -- and a new option of doing community service in lieu of payment.

"That's actually a beautiful thing," says Mahli Mathias, who adds that he was stopped by police a few years ago for carrying around a mixed drink. He now has a criminal record, making it harder for him to get a student loan or apply for public housing.

City officials say the new law took effect in June, but now the goal is to make sure people know about it.

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