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News Release

Operation Fresh Start RECALLS MORE THAN 380 WARRANTS

More than 160 driver’s licenses reinstated

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (May 18, 2016) – The Clerk & Comptroller’s office along with several other justice partners gave citizens a one-time opportunity to resolve their outstanding nonviolent misdemeanor or criminal traffic warrants on Saturday, April 30.

Operation Fresh Start collected nearly $20,000, recalled 380 warrants and reinstated/cleared 160 driver’s licenses during the event.

“On average, the cost of incarceration is $135 per day," said Clerk & Comptroller Sharon R. Bock. “Not only did this partnership save taxpayer money, it allowed people to move on with their lives without the fear of arrest.”

Before Saturday’s event, there were nearly 25,000 outstanding warrants in Palm Beach County.
Eligible defendants were given the chance to voluntarily appear in court, avoid jail time and establish a payment plan for fines and costs.

“This initiative allowed us to resolve hundreds of open warrants in Palm Beach County,” said Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Jeffrey Colbath. “This event was such a success; we hope to replicate more initiatives like Operation Fresh Start in the future.”

“Operation Fresh Start proves that when criminal justice partners work together, great things can be achieved,” said State Attorney Dave Aronberg. “I witnessed first-hand people clearing their outstanding warrants and getting an opportunity to start over.”

“My involvement in Operation Fresh Start allowed me to see how important a program like this is to the community,” said Public Defender Carey Haughwout. “We need to continue to work together on projects like Operation Fresh Start, making it easier for folks to make an honest living and contribute to our society.”

Note: Individuals with outstanding nonviolent misdemeanor or criminal traffic warrants, who were unable to attend Operation Fresh Start, can contact the Public Defender’s Office at 561-355-7500 to check the status of their case or find out if their warrant can be resolved.

For more information about the Clerk’s office, please visit www.mypalmbeachclerk.com.

Operation Fresh Start was a collaboration between Clerk & Comptroller Sharon R. Bock, Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Jeffrey Colbath, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, Public Defender Carey Haughwout and State Attorney Dave Aronberg, the Palm Beach Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provided additional support.

The Florida Constitution established the independent office of the Clerk & Comptroller as a public trustee, responsible for safeguarding public records and public funds. Clerk Sharon Bock is directly elected by and accountable to Palm Beach County residents. In addition to the roles of Clerk of the Circuit Court, County Recorder and Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, the Clerk & Comptroller is the Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Auditor for Palm Beach County.

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