Dakota County will host a warrant resolution event 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 at Crossroads Church, 4100 Lexington Way, Eagan to offer individuals with outstanding warrants an opportunity to resolve them without fear of arrest.
Participants will be able to meet with a defense attorney, prosecutor and judge and schedule a court date if a case cannot be handled at the event. Misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor and probation violation warrants are eligible for resolution. A Ramsey County district court judge will be available to help resolve Ramsey County warrants.
The event is organized by the Dakota County Sheriff's Office and Dakota County Community Services, in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Motor Vehicles and community organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Diversion Solutions, La Asamblea de Derechos Civiles and the NAACP.
It is important for people with a warrant to address the situation right away or risk being arrested or detained.
"I imagine having an arrest warrant is very stressful for someone," Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie said. "This event gives people a way to take care of their business and avoid possible arrest and the court process."
Angela Lockhart, Dakota County's integrated service delivery coordinator, said the event will build trust in the community and help people avoid a potential revolving door in the criminal justice system. People with warrants have missed court dates due to work responsibilities, lack of child care or unreliable transportation.
"There are a lot of good people who have made poor choices and want to make things right," she said. "Sometimes the choice between attending court or going to work means the difference in how the bills are going to get paid."
It is a child-friendly event. Food for participants will be provided by the ACLU and there will be community resources available while people wait.
At any given time, there are about 5,000 outstanding warrants issued in Dakota County.
For more information, call Angela Lockhart at 651-554-6896.