From pot possession to sidewalk biking: Turn yourself in, get the charges dropped

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Apparently small crimes are like overdue library books: if you just hold out long enough, an amnesty day will come along and wipe out all your charges. The Village Voice reports that today is a magical get-out-of-jail-free day for Brooklynites who are wanted of certain crimes ranging from possession of pot to public drinking to riding your bike on the sidewalk. All you have to do is show up at Mount Pisgah Baptist Church at 212 Tompkins Ave. in Bed-Stuy between 9am and 3pm today, fill out the proper paperwork and your charges will be dropped.

So, if you’re currently a fugitive for any of the aforementioned crimes — and your charges are in Brooklyn — just go to the Mount Pisgah Baptist Church at 212 Tompkins Avenue on Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and get those charges swept under the rug. UPDATE: Here’s the official announcement and details.

The Voice even checked in with Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’ office to make sure this wasn’t some hoax or elaborate trap. The Voice says other crimes that fit under this relief-from-prosecution program include littering, trespassing, loitering, disorderly conduct, unlawful possession of alcohol under the age of 21, unlawful possession of handcuffs, making unreasonable noise, animal nuisance, failure to have a dog license, unleashed dog, spitting, unlawfully in a park after hours, and failure to comply with posted signs in park.

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  1. Is the demographic that this amnesty is pretty obviously directed toward adequately represented in your readership population?

  2. Spitters, loiterers, stoners, open-container drinkers, reckless bikers…: yep, I’d say that demographic is well-represented in the Brokelyn reading public.

  3. If we haven’t yet committed any of those crimes, but intend to do so, can we fill out the forms and store up some amnesty in advance, so to speak?

    Also “unlawful possession of handcuffs”? That’s going to send ripples through the S&M community.

  4. “[The city & police] offer the opportunity for individuals with warrants/summons to turn themselves in to clergy and law enforcement and to have their warrants/summons lifted and their cases adjudicated in a safe environment. This is not a pardon; but rather a solution that is favorable.”

    To be clear, you won’t go to prison for skipping out on bail or the trial. You’ll still have to answer for the original crime and have it on your record (though I’m guessing they’re going to be lenient since you turned yourself in.)

    And who the hell doesn’t bother to answer the summons for riding a bike on the sidewalk? Really, the only time you should consider skipping court is when you’re facing capital charges and have the money and means to flee to a non-extraditing South American country.

  5. I wish they’d do this amnesty thing like a week after Bastille Day. I have a streak of consistent open container tickets from Smith Street for 3 years running.

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