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Baltimore City state’s attorney dismisses nearly 600 open warrants for minor offenses

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced Thursday that her office is eliminating nearly 600 open warrants for minor offenses.

Mosby said all warrants for possession of a controlled dangerous substance, paraphernalia possession, prostitution, trespassing, minor traffic offenses, open container, rogue and vagabond, and urinating/defecating in public will be dismissed.

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However, the office said, serious traffic offenses, burglary, theft, and drug sales remain prosecutable offenses.

The dismissals follow Mosby’s March 18 announcement ordering her staff to stop prosecuting the low-level crime cases to help curb the number of people entering jail due to the coronavirus. Despite her order, people kept being arrested on open warrants for failing to appear in court for an offense the office no longer intended to prosecute.

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Prosecutors gathered and assessed open and pending warrants, Mosby said, and requested hearings to eliminate the warrants and then entered “nolle prosequi” to dismiss the charge. In total, 540 warrants were eliminated in the district court and 46 misdemeanor warrants in the circuit court.

Mosby said her office is continuing to work to dismiss cases where there was a citation for an individual to appear in court for an offense the office is not prosecuting.

A letter will be sent to individuals from the courts to let them know that the case has been dropped and warrant eliminated.

“We encourage everyone who is concerned about an outstanding warrant for these minor offenses to go to this website and see if their case has been dealt with,” Mosby said in a release. “We are not prosecuting certain offenses, so logically we do not want people to be held on warrants associated with those offenses. As we have shown in the three months since introducing our new policies, we can balance public health and public safety and this work continues along that path.”

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