By Jonathan Sperling
It was a second chance for hundreds of Queens residents.
More than 400 people made the trip to Universal Church on Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside on Saturday in order to attend the Second Chance Summons Warrant Forgiveness Event, where over 350 participants were able to get their low-level summonses cleared without fear of arrest, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
The rare opportunity saw attendees clear their “pink summonses,” issued for offenses such as disorderly conduct, consumption of alcohol in public, trespassing or unlawful possession of marijuana and public urination.
Throughout the event, attendees met with defense attorneys and had their warrants verified. Those who qualified to have their summons forgiven had their cases passed on to the New York State Court Administration and were able to see a judge.
“An unanswered summons can result in an arrest and in some instances jeopardize an individual’s employment, educational and housing opportunities. Of the more than 400 individuals who attended the day-long event, 360 were able to have their warrants adjudicated and they can now live without looking over their shoulders wondering if an arrest is imminent,” DA Brown said in a statement. “I want to thank the Queens Borough President, the Legal Aid Society, the Hispanic Lawyers Association, other volunteer defense attorneys, Pastor Oscar Ramirez and the congregation of the Universal Church and all those who participated in making this event a success for our community.”
The event was co-sponsored by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and assisted by the Legal Aid Society, the New York City Police Department, the Hispanic Lawyers Association and other organizations.