City workers spread awareness of summonses law change
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.