Los Angeles public safety officials announced Wednesday they will focus on more serious offenses and absolve minor infractions from five years or more ago in an effort to “unclog” the court system.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and LAPD Chief Michel Moore made the announcement that they will seek in court to dismiss “uncollectible, minor citations” and focus enforcement on more serious offenses.
“We’re taking action with our law enforcement partners today to focus on the most important public safety issues, help address root causes of poverty and homelessness and conserve court resources,” Feuer said.
Lacey said people facing fines for nonviolent, low-level offenses will be given a second chance.
“This reprieve will help individuals struggling with homelessness and other types of economic challenges,” Lacey said. “Most importantly, we hope to make an impact that benefits the court and allows us all to reallocate limited resources.”
Both the city attorney and district attorney filed motions to suspend fines and fees for minor violations. The motions would absolve more than 1 million pending citations, the oldest of which dates back to 1981, the City Attorney’s Office said.
Thousands of misdemeanor cases involve defendants who don’t appear in court, and since the implementation of the Fugitive Misdemeanor Recovery Program in late August, seven defendants have been taken into custody for crimes involving domestic violence with traumatic condition, criminal threats, child abuse and more, according to the City Attorney’s Office.