GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) -The Garfield Heights Municipal Court is extending its Fresh Start program, which helps people clear their outstanding court cases and fines, another three months.
This is for people who have not appeared in court and warrants were issued for their arrest and their licenses were suspended.
The goal of the program is to help residents get their driver’s licenses back.
Garfield Heights Municipal Court Judge Deborah Nicastro said many people have already taken advantage of the Fresh Start program that began in February.
“More than 200 people have cleared up warrants. They’ve set up a payment plan and got their driver’s licenses back,” said Judge Nicastro.
To begin the process, a $200 payment to the Clerk of Courts is mandatory.
After the payment is made, an immediate restoration of driving privileges is issued and a court date is scheduled to set up a payment plan for the remainder of the balance.
“If the offender has multiple cases, the release is issued for all cases with the payment of $200 being applied to the oldest case first,” Judge Nicastro explained.
The driver’s license will remain valid as long as the payment plan is honored and the prior offender is in compliance with court orders.
Because of its success, the program is being expanded to all cases where the person did not appear for sentencing.
“Fresh Start has been working well, but we know this program can help many more people and now is the time to do it,” Judge Nicastro added.
The extended Fresh Start program runs until October 31st.
It pertains to both outstanding criminal and traffic cases in the eight communities served by The Garfield Heights Municipal Court: Garfield Heights, Maple Heights, Brecksville, Cuyahoga Heights, Independence, Newburgh Heights, Valley View and Walton Hills.