ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in partnership with the State Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, 6th Judicial Circuit Judges and the Clerk of the Courts hosted “Operation Safe Surrender” Saturday. It’s a one-day opportunity for individuals with outstanding non-violent misdemeanor warrants to safely turn themselves in and have their warrants reviewed and potentially resolved instead of being arrested.
This operation is not an amnesty program, but officials said will offer favorable considerations from the court. Individuals who do not meet the established warrants’ criteria will be handled accordingly depending on the nature of the case.
In lieu of being arrested, those individuals with warrants meeting the criteria established by the State Attorney’s Office will have their cases reviewed and potentially resolved either by a case continuance, monetary fine and/or case dismissal.
The results from the event are: 34 offenders with outstanding misdemeanor warrants responded to the Suncoast Safety Council on September 17, 2016 which equated to a total of 38 misdemeanor warrants being processed and purged from the system. Most of the warrants were for missing court dates (Failure to Appear) on various misdemeanors, traffic violations, and code violations. A total of $1,113 in fees and fines were collected and additional payment plans were arranged for some defendants. No arrests were made during the event.
The previous Safe Surrender event held February 20, 2016 at the Suncoast Safety Council in Clearwater resulted in 44 individuals appearing to mitigate 50 warrants. Most of the warrants were for missing court dates (Failure to Appear) on various misdemeanors, traffic violations, boating violations, and code violations. A total of $1,944.70 was collected in fees at the time and additional payment plans were arranged for some defendants.