Luverne council approves prosecution program

Published 4:45 pm Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Luverne City Council unanimously approved a deferred prosecution program for misdemeanor offenses that was proposed by prosecutor Wayne Carter.

“The city is losing a lot of revenue through the city court because we do not have a deferred prosecutor,” Carter said.

The new program will allow defendants to pay an extra fee based on the offense and complete a program that could include community service. In exchange for the fee and service, defendants will not be convicted of the offense and will not receive penalties.

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“The program will also include counseling,” Carter said.

He said there was already a lot of interest in the program and neighboring cities like Troy, Brantley and Greenville have a similar program.

“I studied them all and I like the system,” said Councilman Charles Johnson. “I wish we would institute an ordinance.”

He made a motion for immediate consideration of Carter’s program. It and the ordinance were unanimously passed.

The biggest advantage for the city will be the fees collected. All of the fees will go to the city whereas tickets are split between the municipality and the state.

Carter’s proposed schedule of fees ranged from $200 to $1,200, depending on the offense. The fees are paid upfront and are nonrefundable.