New York City Desk Appearance Ticket Lawyer

As all top New York City desk appearance ticket lawyers know, receiving one of these documents from a police officer and being summarily released after arrest is highly preferable to experiencing the full arrest process. Rather than being placed in a holding cell for up to 24 hours to await arraignment on criminal charges, a desk appearance ticket (DAT) allows its subject to go home just a short time after arrest. CPL § 150.20 (1). In fact, a DAT may be issued in cases where there is no formal arrest.

If your charge is a high volume petty offense, like the Unlawful Possession of Marijuana (NY Penal Law § 221.05), it is very likely you received a DAT in this manner. It is important to note, however, that these tickets, in most instances, issued entirely at the discretion of the arresting officer, so there is generally no right or entitlement to receiving one.

What is a Desk Appearance Ticket?

If you or someone you know has been issued a desk appearance ticket for a misdemeanor or petty offense, there are a few general things that you should know. First, these tickets have a limited purpose. Unlike traffic or parking tickets, a desk appearance ticket is not a charging instrument.

As such, it does not need to meet pleading standards for arraignment. People v. Fysekis, 164 Misc.2d 627, 629 (Sup. Ct. Bronx Co., 1995). While the misspelling of your name or address on a traffic ticket may provide grounds for its dismissal, similar mistakes on a DAT will have no such legal effect. The accusatory instrument in these cases is the same as would be filed after a more formal and prolonged processing of an arrest – a criminal complaint. In fact, it is not unheard of for different or additional charges to be filed for the DAT court hearing than what is initially written by the officer. This is a fact that surprises many who make the all too common mistake of treating these tickets as a traffic infraction.

The second notable feature of this ticket which should be of primary concern is the obligations it imposes on its recipient to respond. Again, unlike a traffic ticket, a recipient of a DAT must appear in court at the date and time specified. Unless the ticket states otherwise, a fine cannot be mailed in and the scheduled court appearance – which is an arraignment on a criminal complaint – is not optional. When your appearance at the court is impossible or impractical due to some last minute and unavoidable conflict, a retained New York City desk appearance ticket attorney could notify the court or appear at the hearing in your absence to move for an adjournment. Without them, however, failing to appear on the specified date will result in a warrant being issued for your arrest. CPL § 150.60. And this time, no DAT will be issued.

What Are the Steps to Take After Receiving a DAT in New York City?

The first thing a person should do when the police issue them a desk appearance ticket is to remain calm. An arrest can be a stressful event, especially for those who have never been in trouble with the law before. Panicking during this important time can only make things worse. By remaining calm, an individual can avoid discussing their case with the police and go about building a successful defense.

Second, it is vital to keep the DAT and all documentation provided by the police. Make note of the court date on the DAT to avoid mistakenly missing the court appearance. Failing to appear will only make things worse, and it could impact the ability to obtain a favorable outcome in the underlying case.

Finally, contacting experienced New York City lawyer is the most important step to take following the issuance of a DAT. One of the primary benefits of hiring legal counsel is the ability to avoid appearing at the initial court date. An attorney could request the continuation of the court date or simply appear on their client’s behalf to dispute the charges. After the initial appearance, an attorney could work with the prosecution to have the case dismissed entirely. In some cases, an attorney could resolve a desk appearance ticket without their client ever having to set foot inside a courtroom.

It is imperative to move quickly upon receiving a DAT. The courts have no obligation to move a hearing date or provide a defendant with more time to arrange for a lawyer. The sooner a person obtains legal counsel from our firm, the sooner they could have peace of mind knowing that their case is in good hands.

Contact a New York City Desk Appearance Ticket Attorney

If you or your loved one has recently received an appearance ticket for a misdemeanor or petty offense or have missed your ticketed court date, arrange a consultation with one of our experienced New York City desk appearance ticket lawyers as soon as possible. We have represented many individuals at their DAT court appearance and are well-versed in the consequences and remedies for failing to appear at one. Call today to get started on your case.

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