Warrant forgiveness program starts Monday

November 28, 2008 12:28:00 PM PST
Beginning Monday, law enforcement agencies in Santa Clara County will be participating in a program that allows people with outstanding misdemeanor warrants a chance to avoid jail, according to the Santa Clara Sheriff's Office.

Anyone with a nonviolent misdemeanor warrant, including a warrant stamped "No Cite and Release," "No Walk-Over" and "Post and Forfeit," can turn themselves in during "Operation Second Chance 2008" and receive a citation and a new court date instead of being booked into jail, according to the sheriff's office.

People with felony warrants or warrants for crimes that involve violence are not eligible and could be arrested if they surrender.

According to the sheriff's office, more than 1,000 people have taken advantage of the program over the past three years and avoided spending the holidays in jail.

Last year alone, 201 people with eligible misdemeanor warrants turned themselves in. They were issued citations with a new court date and promptly released.

"Operation Second Chance" will run through Dec. 31.

People can surrender on outstanding warrants at any police or sheriff's office in the county.