Criminal Offenses Could Become Civil Citations

By: Liza Park Email
By: Liza Park Email

Tallahassee's overloaded criminal justice system could get a little relief from a new city proposal.
Wednesday night City Commissioners introduced a new ordinance that would change certain violations from criminal offenses to civil citations.
These violations include offenses like possession of open containers of alcohol, burning without a permit and placing handbills on cars.
These offenses would be changed to civil citations and wouldn't require legal representation from the public defenders' office.
"Without the criminal penalty you don't have to involve really either the state attorney or the public defenders so it'll be a cost savings thing," explains James English, Tallahassee's City Attorney.
Changing these offenses from criminal misdemeanors to civil citations could save the city 30-thousand dollars in fees it would have to pay the public defender's office.
A public hearing on the proposal will be held on January 28th.

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