Nassau DA drops more than 1100 warrants after NY laws change

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — Warrants in more than 1,100 Nassau County cases were dropped on Thursday, as the prosecutor’s office moved to dismiss them in the wake of the legalization of recreational marijuana in New York state as well as the repeal of a 1970s-era prostitution law.

Newsday reported that the hearing in Nassau District Court “administratively vacated” the warrants at the behest of Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas.

In a statement, she said, “We began to review certain outstanding warrants months ago because outstanding warrants can impact a person’s ability to work or secure housing if they appear during a background check. By removing this obstacle, people can resume their lives without worrying about potential repercussions.”

Of the cases, just under 900 were concerning marijuana possession, while the rest involved prostitution charges.

Last month, a law was passed legalizing the possession and use of recreational marijuana by adults. In February, elected officials repealed a decades-old law against loitering for the purpose of prostitution that critics claimed had been enforced with bias, particularly against transgender women of color.

Other New York counties have taken action in connection to the prostitution law repeal, with the district attorneys of Queens and the Bronx dropping hundreds of cases.