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Desk Appearance Tickets (D.A.T.)

Receiving a Desk Appearance Ticket can be very confusing and a little intimidating. Desk Appearance Tickets contain a lot of information and are often covered in statutory codes, abbreviations, and numbers that do not seem to relate to anything.

A skilled Desk Appearance Ticket lawyer can help explain a desk appearance ticket to you, and guide you through the process of appearing at court, and through an arraignment.

If you or someone you know has been issued a Desk Appearance Ticket, a New York Desk Appearance Ticket lawyer can help you understand the charges, develop a plan to address and defend the allegations, and can defend your rights and freedoms in court.

Defining Desk Appearance Tickets

A Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT), which is sometimes referred to as simply an “appearance ticket,” is often the start of the criminal process for many individuals in New York.

A DAT is a written order that is issued by the police, which requires a person to appear in criminal court on a specific date and time, which is known as a return date. At the return date, an accused person will be expected to respond to accusations that they have committed a crime.

Desk Appearance Tickets are issued in place of putting a person through the formal arrest process. However, it is important to note that while these tickets are more serious than NYPD summonses, a person is not considered guilty of a crime just because they receive a Desk Appearance Ticket, however, they have been arrested.

Anytime a person receives a Desk Appearance Ticket, they should contact a New York Desk Appearance Ticket attorney as soon as possible to discuss their case.

Potential Desk Appearance Ticket Charges

Desk Appearance Tickets can pertain to numerous criminal offenses. Most often a Desk Appearance Ticket will be issued for a misdemeanor offense, which normally carries a maximum punishment of up to one year in prison. However, a Desk Appearance Ticket may be issued for various offenses including:

  • Theft of services
  • Shoplifting
  • Marijuana charges
  • Drug possession
  • Assault
  • Trespassing
  • Driving with a suspended license

Additionally, certain Class E felony charges can result in a police officer issuing a Desk Appearance Ticket. A New York Desk Appearance Ticket Lawyer can help defend against any of these offenses including Grand larceny shoplifting, and property damage crimes.

Consequences of Not Appearing for a Return Date

As discussed above, a Desk Appearance Ticket will indicate that a person is to report to a specific criminal court at a specific date and time.  It is very important to contact a New York Desk Appearance Ticket lawyer to accompany you to this appearance.

If a person fails to appear at the criminal court designated on the Desk Appearance Ticket, then it is very likely that the judge will issue a warrant for their arrest. This means that a police officer may arrest you and bring you to the police station to go through the normal booking process.

Contacting an Attorney

Do not make the mistake of thinking that a Desk Appearance Ticket is something that can be put away and not concerned about. A person who has received a Desk Appearance Ticket may be facing serious criminal consequences including prison time, fines, probation, and will have a criminal record.

However, with an aggressive and dedicated New York Desk Appearance Ticket lawyer by your side, you may be able to avoid many of these negative consequences and may have your charges dismissed.

As New York City criminal defense lawyers, we understand that often times the police will issue a Desk Appearance Ticket (D.A.T.) in lieu of having the arrestee go through the entire arrest process. While the police can chose to issue a D.A.T. instead of sending you through central booking in Manhattan or elsewhere in the City of New York, they often review certain criteria before doing so. For example, if you have valid identification, the offense is not one that involves domestic violence and you do not have a criminal record, a D.A.T. may be issued. In these cases a ticket is given that requires an appearance on a future date in criminal court. If you are given a D.A.T. you will return on that date to not only face the misdemeanor or violation charge, but you will see the judge for arraignment. While it is relatively rare, a DAT may charge you with a felony.

Although being issued a D.A.T. may not seem serious, that misguided belief could not be further from the truth. You have been “printed.” The police have created a record and one that can potentially impact you for years to come. In fact, the New York City Desk Appearance Attorneys at Saland Law have negotiated with the police and voluntarily surrendered clients who were investigated in very serious matters. Fortunately for these clients, despite the severity of the charges, we were able to negotiate a D.A.T. as part of a surrender, but the fact still remains that they have been arrested.

Whether the arrest was processed as a D.A.T. or through central booking, if you do not come to court on the required date it is very likely that a bench warrant will be issued for your immediate arrest. Therefore, you should take a D.A.T just as serious as a "regular" arrest and retain a skilled and experienced attorney to fight on your behalf.

Substantive articles on D.A.T. crimes, processes and procedures can be found on the Desk Appearance Ticket section of the New York Criminal Lawyer Blog ( There you will find material on particular crimes, potential offers and legal case decisions that may impact your case.

Additional information on New York Desk Appearance Tickets can also be found at NYDeskAppearanceTicket.Com.

Call our criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

New York Criminal Lawyer Blog - Desk Appearance Ticket
Client Reviews
... I was facing a class B felony and potentially tens of thousands in fines and some legit jail time and after hiring Jeremy Saland he obviously struck enough fear into the prosecutors with his sheer litigation might that it was knocked down to a petty misdemeanor and after a few sheckles and a handful of counseling sessions, I will no longer have a criminal record. The offices of Saland Law are the Shaq and Kobe of criminal defense in New York City and to even consider another firm is outright blasphemy. I stand by this statement 100% Evan
Let me start by saying how amazing Liz Crotty is! I am a resident of California, who needed representation for my son who received a desk citation while he was visiting NYC. Liz jumped on the case right away; she was very thorough in explaining things to me. She is strictly business too! She went to court on my son's behalf and had his case dismissed. I am forever grateful to her. Seana G.
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