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35,000 misdemeanor warrants deleted in Hamilton County

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio (Brad Underwood) -- Thousands of people who have managed to avoid arrest in Hamilton County for ten years or more are now in the clear.
35,000 old warrants for non-violent misdemeanors were wiped clean.  Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Nadine Allen and Cincinnati City Council Member Charlie Winburn pushed for the change.  They said getting rid of the old warrants would save taxpayers up to five million dollars a year.

"It's going to save on jail bills, coroner reports, drug reports, paying witness fees, less overtime for police officers; that is huge," said Winburn.  
They estimated the cost of each potential court appearance at 150 dollars and said after a decade most charges are dropped because witnesses and evidence are too hard to find.

"We got people that's been running for 10 and 20 years from the police.  You don't have to run no more.  Your record has been deleted and dismissed and erased, from 2004 on back," Winburn said.

As for the thought of letting 35,000 people get away with a crime by having a warrant deleted, Winburn said it's about funding cases that were going nowhere.

"Even they came to fruition to the court they were going to be dismissed anyway, so the goal, this has been smart on crime," said Winburn.

The creators also believe the move will also improve relations between police and the community and expose officers to fewer dangerous chases.  Warrants for violent crimes, sex offenses, drunk driving and child endangering cases were not purged.

If you have questions on a warrant call 513-946-5656.

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