For many people who have faced relatively minor criminal charges for non-violent offenses, the journey through the justice system is not a straight line from A to B. There may involve short periods of incarceration and probation, or a large number of scheduled court appearances while the suspect’s status is not altogether clear. Some individuals find themselves in situation in which they are aware of the possibility that some criminal proceeding may still be pending but are unsure whether there is an outstanding warrant, or what the likely outcome may be if they are ever picked up for some unrelated matter.
This week in Atlantic City, the Fugitive Safe Surrender program is underway to encourage those that have outstanding warrants for non-violent offenses to turn themselves in. The idea is that the voluntary surrender will be taken into consideration when the charges are resolved. This program may be a worthwhile option to consider for some individuals, though it is important to understand the outstanding charges against you and what the potential outcomes may be.
Officials said that on Saturday alone 1,500 outstanding warrants were processed, and that the average person that turned themselves in had three outstanding warrants each. While many of those people had to pay fines, albeit reduced, it is likely that many were simply happy to have been able to resolve these outstanding issues rather than always waiting around for the other shoe to drop, or that if they get pulled over for speeding they will end up being locked up.
Source: Press of Atlantic City, “Program held in Atlantic City lets people with warrants for nonviolent crimes settle them with reduced fines, no arrest” April 21, 2012