‘Begin Again’: Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson offering warrant forgiveness for low-level offenses

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BUSHWICK, Brooklyn – Taking the chance to voluntarily come face to face with the justice system, on the promise that all will be forgiven is a tall order for some people.

But the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office has made good on its word on three previous occasions to forgive summonses for low-level offenses and this weekend it will happen a fourth time at the St. Thomas Episcopal Anglican Church in Bushwick, Brooklyn through his "Begin Again" program.

Now if you are sitting at home, asking yourself, why should someone who let an offense lapse into warrant status, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s answer is simple: trust and stronger community relations.

"We are committed to giving the people of Brooklyn a new start and doing all that we can to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the communities that we serve,” Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said.

Thompson’s rules are simple. Minor misdemeanor offenses such as being in a park after closing, or drinking alcohol in public will be reviewed.

If your offense qualifies, it will vacated by a judge right on the spot regardless of what borough you received the summons.

If it turns out you have a much more serious offense on your record - let’s say a felony, you are free to speak with legal aid attorneys who will also be on hand or simply turn around and walk out.

Granted, not everyone is ready to take that leap of faith.

That said, almost twenty-four hundred other people who have attended the other warrant forgiveness events and they tell another story.