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Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court

Tribunal Metropolitano del Condado de Bernalillo

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797 Bench Warrants Addressed at Safe Surrender Event


Nearly 800 warrants were addressed at Metro Court’s Safe Surrender event in July, making it the court’s most-successful Safe Surrender to date. 


“This year’s event was five hours shorter compared to 2016, however, our judges addressed 102 more warrants,” said Court Executive Officer Robert L. Padilla. “We were able to close a large number of cases, bring folks back into the system, and those who came in were able to leave with peace of mind.”


Individuals with outstanding traffic bench warrants were able to see a judge and receive favorable consideration in exchange for coming in to address the warrant. 


Traffic bench warrants were the focus for the court this year, which sent out 6,080 postcards to those with outstanding warrants for skipping court or failing to comply with their sentence or conditions of release.


Chief Judge Edward L. Benavidez and Presiding Criminal Division Judge Vidalia Chavez volunteered for the event, with help from Judge David A. Segura of Santa Fe Magistrate Court, who addressed the 40 Magistrate Court warrants that came through. 


“The event would not have been possible without the judges, various criminal justice partners and dedicated court staff,” added Padilla.


Metro Court hosts the event not only as an effective way to get people back into the system but also because it frees up resources that the court, law enforcement and the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) expend when someone is arrested on an active bench warrant. According to the agencies, it takes an officer an average two hours to arrest and book someone, and it takes MDC an average of four hours to complete intake on an individual.

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