Osceola County holds first-ever fugitive Safe Surrender Day

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OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - If you had a misdemeanor warrant for your arrest in Osceola County, Wednesday was your day to clear it up without being arrested.

The county held its first Safe Surrender Day. It was a day for people who are wanted on nonviolent, misdemeanor warrants.

Osceola County Judge Stefania Jancewicz had a busy day as fugitives willingly came to her courtroom.

Safe Surrender Day lets those with minor warrants turn themselves in and immediately have their first appearance before Jancewicz, without setting foot in a jail cell.

"It's just a great process in general for the community to know that we're using tax dollars to efficiently work through the cases in the right legal way," said Jancewicz.

"It's a load lifted off my shoulders. I mean, you can't -- any time I stepped out of the house I was worried. Getting pulled over and they run your name or whatever. It's just a big cloud that's gone now," said one man who appeared before the judge.

So far the program is getting high marks from the accused, some whom traveled from as far as Colorado to clear up legal trouble.

Attorney Anton Nace, called one of his clients in Atlanta because he thought today could be a one-time chance for his client to avoid jail on a marijuana charge.

"Everybody that is in here is here on a nonviolent misdemeanor. So we're talking about things as trivial as traffic offenses, possession of cannabis," said Nace.

The same safe surrender offer has been successful in other counties, like Volusia.

Osceola court officials said that after evaluating Wednesday's event there is the possibility that another such offer might be extended in the future.