Failing to Appear for a DAT in New York City

Failure to appear in court after receiving a Desk Appearance Ticket in New York City will result in your arrest. This is true regardless of the reason of why the court appearance was missed. Whether because of work, illness or being outside the state on the return date, an arrest warrant will be issued in your name and local law enforcement will have full legal authority to forcibly procure your attendance to court by coming to your home or anywhere else you may be found within the state. CPL § 150.60.

For those who regularly travel abroad for business, your open arrest warrant will likely be triggered at customs at any of New York’s international airports. Wherever the warrant is executed, the result will be an indefinite detention at a detention center at least until an order to vacate the warrant has been issued by the criminal court judge at your appearance – and the legal complications don’t end there.

Will A Failure to Appear Result in a Warrant?

In New York City, no matter their reason for missing court, a person that fails to appear on a desk appearance ticket can expect the court to issue a bench warrant for their arrest. A bench warrant occurs when the judge overseeing the underlying criminal case executes a warrant for a defendant’s arrest. A failure to appear is the most common cause for a bench warrant.

Regardless of the cause of a bench warrant, it is vital to take care of them immediately. In many cases, legal counsel can assist with resolving these warrants before an arrest occurs. It is better to face a bench warrant directly instead of waiting for police to eventually make an arrest.

How Will a Failure to Appear Complicate an Underlying Case?

If you have been issued a DAT for a criminal offense and then subsequently fail to appear in court on its return date, your criminal case and bail hearing are likely to be complicated by the filing of an additional offense by local prosecutors assigned to your case: Failing to Respond to an Appearance Ticket (New York Penal Law § 215.58).

While only a charge of a violation instead of a felony or misdemeanor, a charge of Failing to Respond to an Appearance Ticket impacts a lawyer’s ability to persuasively argue at arraignment for your release on your own recognizance, that is, without bail being posted. Typically, where a defendant has exhibited either a willingness to abscond or failure to attend criminal court proceedings, the posting of at least some bond, no matter how minor the original offense, is required. Spending extra days in any one of New York City’s jails while your family and attorneys arrange for a bondsman to post bail will have you wishing that you had handled your appearance ticket differently.

Other Consequences of Missing a DAT Court Date

A bench warrant and an additional charge of failure to appear can have a ripple effect across a person’s life. This effect can extend far beyond the failure to appear charge or even the underlying criminal case that led to the original court date. By facing additional charges, the prospect of resolving a case prior to trial becomes more complicated, and therefore the whole process may take longer.

A conviction for failure to appear after the issuance of a desk appearance ticket can complicate matters in the future. Even if you are ultimately acquitted of the underlying charges, a conviction for failure to appear could have a long-lasting impact on a person’s ability to maintain employment or secure housing. What’s more, this conviction could make it difficult to obtain reasonable bail or release on recognizance should that person face arrest again in the future.

Call a New York City DAT Attorney After Failing to Appear in Court

Mishandling a DAT and missing your court date is perfectly avoidable, especially with previously retained counsel. Even if the court date has already passed your situation may be remedied. Our lawyers have handled many of these cases over the years and routinely work with the court and local prosecutors to adjourn the scheduled hearing. If a warrant has already been issued, the court’s warrant office may be contacted and your situation explained to gain some relief from the prospect of a looming arrest. If you failed to appear for a DAT in New York City, don’t make a bad situation worse by doing nothing. Contact one of our top New York City appearance ticket attorneys today to begin working to resolve the situation with undue delay.

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