Local Law Enforcement Offers ‘Second Chance’ to Avoid Jail During Holiday Season

South Bay residents with an arrest warrant to their name have a chance to trade it for a citation and a new court date this holiday season. Santa Clara County’s annual Operation Second Chance allows people accused of nonviolent misdemeanors to walk into any law enforcement agency to take advantage of the offer through the end of December.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, about 3,500 people in the past decade have avoided jail during the holidays because of the program. In return, the defendants sign a “promise to appear” on their next court date. The offer stands regardless of bail amount and includes most misdemeanor warrants stamped as “no cite and release” and “no bail.”

There are numerous exceptions to the program, including:

  • Felony warrants
  • Domestic violence warrants
  • Warrants involving any violent crime
  • Warrants for any firearm-related crime
  • Resisting arrest warrants
  • Warrants for crimes that involve lying to police

“Persons with these types of warrants, however, are urged to take this opportunity to turn themselves in so they can take care of their matter in court,” sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Richard Glennon noted in a press release.

For more information about the program, call the Sheriff’s Office records division at 408.808.4717. Below is the full list of locations and hours of operation for local agencies accepting self-surrenders through the rest of the month.

  • Sheriff’s Office HQ: 24 hours a day every day, 55 W. Younger Ave., San Jose
  • Sheriff’s Office South County Substation: 7:30am to 4pm Monday through Friday, 80 W. Highland Ave., San Martin
  • Campbell Police Department: 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday, 70 N. First St., Campbell
  • Gilroy Police Department: 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday, 7301 Hanna St., Gilroy
  • Los Altos Police Department: 8am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday,1 N. San Antonio Road, Los Altos
  • Los Gatos/Monte Sereno Police Department: 9am to 4pm Monday through Thursday and 9am to 1pm Friday, 110 E Main St., Los Gatos
  • Milpitas Police Department: 10am to 4pm Monday through Friday, 1275 N. Milpitas Blvd., Milpitas
  • Morgan Hill Police Department: 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday, 16200 Vineyard Blvd., Morgan Hill
  • Mountain View Police Department: 7am to 7pm every day, 1000 Villa St., Mountain View
  • Santa Clara Police Department: 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday, 601 El Camino Real, Santa Clara
  • Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety: 8am to 4pm seven days a week, 700 All America Way, Sunnyvale
  • Palo Alto Police Department: 8am to 4pm Monday to Thursday, 275 Forest Ave., Palo Alto

3 Comments

  1. One can only hope this program will be administered in keeping with the county’s stated commitment to race and gender equality so as to avoid a disproportionate outcome. The granting of “second chances” in percentages exceeding 2.6 for African-Americans, 26.3 for Hispanics, 32.6 for Asians, and 34.7 for whites, would, using the progressive reasoning standard, constitute “proof” of discrimination. Also, in order to avoid any accusations of a ceiling, glass or other wise, half of all second chances must go to women.

  2. If worthwhile (i.e., vast majority honor court appearance promise), then why incarcerate any first-time offenders for non-violent crimes? Seems like taxpayers are being burdened without any public benefit. On the other hand, keeping offenders away from family during holidays might result in less recidivism argues for keeping them locked-up.

    The real beneficiaries could be DOC staff. With fewer inmates to supervise, fewer corrections staff needed so they can be with their families.

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