Failure to Appear for a NYC Desk Appearance Ticket (D.A.T.)
Before making the perilous decision to miss a court date, anyone who finds themselves charged with a crime, even those issued an appearance ticket, should consult with a New York criminal lawyer or Desk Appearance Ticket attorney. There should be little doubt that if you fail to appear for any appearance, including a DAT in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, a New York City Criminal Court judge may decide to issue a bench warrant for your arrest, especially if they determine that your failure to appear is willful and persistent. As a result, whether you are a foreign national who is returning to the United States on a later date, a resident of another state, or someone who just can’t miss work without causing serious problems, the police will have the authority to arrest you and take you into custody whenever and wherever they find you once that bench warrant is issued. This kind of thing can happen whenever and wherever police or other law enforcement come into contact with you and become aware of the warrant, even going through customs at an airport or Global Entry.Bench Warrants
Not only will the criminal charges themselves be potentially magnified as a result of your failure to appear, with the court and the prosecutor taking things that much more seriously, but now, in addition to your arrest record, a bench warrant may also become part of your permanent record, making a judge that much more likely to issue a warrant for your arrest again in the future if you were to miss a court date. Obviously, if you have any licensing, certification or immigration issues that are collateral to the criminal case, the entire matter will certainly be even further complicated, and the ramifications compounded.New Charges
In addition to a warrant, there is a little known section of the New York Penal Law that can further complicate arrests in New York associated with Desk Appearance Tickets. New York Penal Law 215.58, Failure to Respond to an Appearance Ticket, makes it a violation to willfully fail to appear on the specified date. This failure to appear becomes a new violation of New York’s penal law only if you fail to appear within thirty days after the required date. This is similar to a Bail Jumping charge but actually deals specifically with appearance tickets.Excused Appearances
While there certainly are reasonable explanations as to why a person cannot appear on a given date, whether it’s work, family or just the expense of traveling to appear in court, especially from out of state, you cannot simply assume that you will be able to rectify it after the fact, or that your failure to appear will be excused, or that the court will politely send you a nice reminder letter for next time. Instead, you may find yourself in police custody overnight wishing you handled the situation much differently. To avoid all of these problems and complications which can quickly snowball out of control, contact a criminal attorney who is familiar with the Desk Appearance Ticket process in New York City and throughout the state, and see whether the attorney might be able to have the matter put off to a different date, appear on your behalf to explain the unavoidable non-appearance, or appear on your behalf entirely in the case of summonses or other kinds of non-criminal proceedings. In some limited circumstances, your lawyer may be able to resolve the case without your appearance at all.
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 that are often accompanied by the issuance of a Desk Appearance ticket, potential ways of resolving cases in that context, and the various laws and court decisions that may impact your case.
Additional information on New York Desk Appearance Tickets can also be found at NYDeskAppearanceTicket.Com
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