27 Jul 23

Desk Appearance Tickets – DAT Lawyers

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Last Updated on: 24th August 2023, 01:00 am

Desk Appearance Tickets: Failure to Appear

New York City is home to over eight million people. Within this city, there are many laws that govern people’s conduct. It is imperative to be aware of such laws and what impact they can and might have on your life. If you get into potential legal trouble, you might be issued what is known as a desk appearance ticket or D.A.T. by the New York Police Department.

Your Responsibilities

If you get this ticket it means that you are being asked to come back to court on your own on the date indicated by the ticket. These are tickets that indicate that the courts do not consider you a flight risk. In general, the courts expect that you will come back to the jurisdiction on the date on the ticket. Most people who are facing this kind of issue are those who have never been in trouble with the law in any way in the past. City officials indicate they are placing a great deal of trust in your willingness to come forward and adhere to the procedures of the court system. However, if you do not agree to follow this procedure and show up on time you may be subject to what is known as a failure to appear.

The Results

Your Rights

The failure to appear can also impact other areas of your life. For example, if you want to get a professional license of some sort or you’re facing immigration issues, this record will show up. It can impede your ability to get that license as it now part of your permanent record. The court system may not care about the factors that limited your ability to appear such as having to work on the given date. A part of the criminal code in New York City can also lead to new charges. You have thirty days to show up. If you don’t rectify this situation in this given time, you can be charged not only with having committed the original crime. You can also be charged with a new crime because you did not show up when the court said so. This can make it hard to get things you want done in your life. You may be facing issues such as denial of your state license because of the warrant. You might also find it much harder to avoid being deported because the state takes into account the fact that you did not obey the law in this instance and did not appear on the date asked or in the immediate aftermath.

Getting Help

Desk Appearance Tickets: Who is Eligible

The laws and procedures that govern New York City are highly complicated. If you are visiting this community from overseas, another state or you happen to live here, it is vitally important to be aware of certain legal terms. One of the most commonly issued law related procedure is what is known as a desk appearance ticket or D.A.T.

The D.A.T.

The D.A.T. is a procedure followed by local courts. It is an indication that the courts believe you have engaged in some form of criminal behavior. At the same time, the D.A.T., unlike certain other procedures, has certain advantages. Unlike other forms of legal summonses, you are allowed to leave the court. The defendant is not placed in jail. Instead, you given the chance to come back to the court on the date specified by the D.A.T. This means you are free to go about your business and life.


While the D.A.T. is useful keep it mind it does not apply to all the cases in New York City. Only certain types of cases are eligible.

Certain Crimes

Certain crimes are eligible under these laws. The same is true of those who are found with a knife as well as certain controlled substances. Someone who skips a turnstile on the way to the subway or hails a cab and then does not pay for the cab’s services may be handed a ticket and then told to show up in court on a given day.

The Address

Those given this option must meet certain requirements. One of the most important is presenting a local address. For example, they can provide a friend’s address if that friend lives in New York City.


Domestic Offenses

While it is possible to have a D.A.T. under many circumstances, there are certain laws that will not result in one. For example, those who are accused of what are known under law as domestic offenses will not be given this option.

Desk Appearance Tickets: What You Need to Know

There is a simple answer to the question posed. A Desk Appearance Ticket is a means to notice a person of a court date. That, however, is only the beginning and does not begin to explain the meaning and importance of the ticket and the process it sets off.

What is a Desk Appearance Ticket?

In the State of New York and in particular the City of New York, a Desk Appearance Ticket (D.A.T.) is used for minor criminal offenses. It is a means of ordering the person arrested to appear in court on a date certain and a designated time. One of the advantages of this procedure which is authorized by state law is the relatively quick process. A person is arrested, issued a D.A.T., and sent on their way. In addition to the ticket, the person arrested can provide contact information such as a valid address and phone number so they will receive an additional notice of their court date.

Understanding the Seriousness of the Ticket

It is important to note that the issuance of the D.A.T. in no way minimizes the seriousness of the underlying criminal charge. The person receiving the ticket is still facing the possibility of penalties as authorized by law for whatever offense or offenses ensue. A person who is issued this type of ticket still needs to seek experienced criminal defense counsel to represent and protect their rights.

The Process of Issuing a Desk Appearance Ticket

The New York City Police Department has a detailed procedure for issuing these tickets. The stated purpose is to not detain the person being arrested. The process of detention is time-consuming for the police. It is obviously a bad situation for the person arrested. The D.A.T. works well for all concerned as long as the circumstances meet the police procedure and state law.

Exceptions to the Use of Desk Appearance Tickets

This ticket is designed for arrests without a warrant. When a law enforcement officer has an arrest warrant and is serving it upon a defendant, the D.A.T. does not apply. There are many other exceptions that prevent the use of the D.A.T. but this is one of the major ones.

Bail and Court Attendance

The issuance of the ticket does not automatically mean that the person charged will walk away with only a ticket. The law does authorize a bond or pre-arraignment bail. As with all bonds or bails, the sum of money is forfeited if the person fails to appear at the time and place stated in the ticket. The law sets maximum amounts for the bail depending upon the offense charged. It is detailed and designed to protect the rights of the defendant and to ensure court attendance.

The Role of the Desk Appearance Ticket in the Criminal Process

The D.A.T. is not the legal document charging a person with a criminal offense. It is used for the sole purpose of getting the Defendant into court where they are formally charged with a crime. That does not mean it is not important. Failure to appear in court is always a serious matter. No matter what a person needs to appear in court and be accompanied by a criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable about local law and procedure.

The Importance of Legal Representation

The law enforcement officer involved will file what is known as an accusatory instrument. This document sets forth the specifics of the alleged crime. It is very important and must meet the legal requirements or it is subject to dismissal. An experienced criminal defense attorney will recognize if it is defective and move to dismiss.

What to Do When You Receive a Desk Appearance Ticket

The appearance ticket is the first step in the criminal process. It is not to be ignored. The first thing a person should do upon receiving one is call a criminal defense attorney and make an appointment. When the appointment is made the person should let the attorney’s office know the date, time, and location of the court appearance.

A person served with the ticket may not have the written charges but they are likely to know why the ticket was served and nature of the alleged crime. It is rarely a surprise when a law enforcement officer serves the D.A.T. The person charged needs to convey that information to the lawyer so preliminary steps can be taken to interview potential witnesses and secure evidence. Do not delay. Prompt action is essential in all criminal cases.

A person who arrives in court for the initial appearance with a well-prepared and knowledgeable attorney is always protected. The court knows that they are taking matters seriously. This article has only touched briefly on the law in Section 150 concerning appearance tickets. A lawyer will know all the specific details of the law and how they apply to each client’s particular case. Do not count on anyone in the courthouse protecting your rights. Have your own advocate who knows what to do with that appearance ticket.

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Desk Appearance Tickets: Why You Need a Lawyer

Any encounter with law enforcement officials can be complicated. The law encompasses many areas and issues. It is imperative to keep in mind the differing jurisdictions. New York City, for example, has different laws than those laws that govern neighboring New Jersey and Connecticut. New York City also has different laws than those that govern New York state. Everyone who lives in this area or even just chooses to pass through it on their way to somewhere else should be aware of the ways that such laws can have an impact on their lives.

Understanding Desk Appearance Tickets

One specific New York City legal procedure is what is known as a desk appearance ticket or D.A.T. This is a legal instrument that allows those who are accused of a crime to avoid being pulled off to jail. If, for example, someone is accused of shoplifting a certain amount, the person can be ordered to appear in the court system on a given date. This means they don’t face the prospect of being sent to jail. At the same time, these laws can be deeply complicated. Many local laws apply to the issuance of a D.A.T. They may not be available under all circumstances nor may they be allowed if someone is there from another state or different nation completely. The D.A.T. may also have certain conditions attached to it such as the requirement to have a local address.

The Seriousness of a Desk Appearance Ticket

While on the surface, this can seem quite a very minor issue, it is still a serious matter. You have been arrested and booked by the court system. You will be asked to appear in front of a judge at a set date in order to determine if any punishment is warranted. Many such crimes are subject to a jail term for up to a year. Even a class a misdemeanor can vastly disrupt all areas of your life. You might be forced to give up custody of your children to the state if you can no longer care for them because they are in jail. Those who hold a professional license from the city of New York may be in danger of losing this license because they have been convicted of a crime. The D.A.T. does not require you to be held in jail. However, it does require you to show up in court on the agreed-upon date for the hearing. If you don’t, a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest.

The Role of a Lawyer

How the Lawyer Can Help

It is important to keep in mind that there are many possible different outcomes if you are faced with this kind of court hearing. You may be subject to all sorts of penalties. Sometimes, it is possible to settle the case before you go to court. A lawyer can speak to the courts on your behalf before anything else happens. The lawyer can also choose to help you understand all the legal consequences that might happen if you are facing a D.A.T. For example, if you have an active immigration case with the federal government, this can impact your ability to get that case resolved to your personal satisfaction. Keep in mind as well that the state is not necessarily handing you this desk ticket because they do not have a case against you or they have one that might not have much evidence. This is being done for one reason primarily. That is because the city can save money this way. City officials may choose to add additional charges once you are in court. You might not know about these potential charges when you show up in court.

The procedure itself can be quite daunting. You will be facing a judge, possibly witnesses, and the assistant district attorney. The return date on the ticket can offer you a chance to have someone on your side who can help you respond to questions about the case and make sure the answers given are those that serve your legal interests when possible. It is also possible to get the case dismissed even if you are given a D.A.T. A person can be given one even if they have a long history of prior criminal acts. If you do not appear, you will be given a bench warrant. This means that if you make a single mistake such as making a slight wrong turn when driving, the officer can pull you over. If they find you have a D.A.T. and you haven’t shown up, they can arrest you on the spot and bring you to jail. A lawyer can explain all of this. They can show you how it might impact your life and what to do before you do anything else. Really good legal counsel is essential when facing a desk appearance ticket.