New York and NYC Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT): What is a DAT & Who is Eligible for a DAT

Every day in the courtrooms of NYC a defendant sits with his criminal defense attorney waiting to be arraigned on a Desk Appearance Ticket or DAT. The charge may relate to a Petit Larceny shoplifting, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance for possessing drugs, or even an Assault for a fist fight. But, what is a DAT and why do some people get issued one? We at Crotty Saland PC, have the answer to these questions and have created new-york-lawyers.org and NYDeskAppearanceTicket.Com to further assist our readers.

A Desk Appearance Ticket is a summons to come to a court in NYC on a future date to be arraigned (where you are formally charged before a judge). Police issue these “tickets” in lieu of processing an individual through central booking and potentially keeping them locked up for up to twenty four hours before seeing a judge. While getting a DAT is the functional equivalent of being arrested and processed through the system, it is a significantly better outcome where you are accused of criminal conduct. Instead of being locked up in a jail cell with another individual who is accused of Murder or Rape, you are given the opportunity to report to court with your criminal defense attorney in the future.

Individuals who are given DATs are people usually charged with misdemeanor crimes. On rare occasions, the crime may be a felony. These crimes, while serious, often involved defendants who do not have a criminal record. Moreover, the crime(s) do not involve domestic violence. However, even if you merely jump a turnstile or have some marijuana, the police will not issue a Desk Appearance Ticket if you do not have proper or any identification. If you live out of the state a DAT may not be issued as well.

A big mistake made by individuals who receive DATs is that they believe they are only getting a “slap on the wrist” or they do not have to go to court. Make no mistake. Whether you sit in a jail cell overnight or you received a DAT, the crime you are charged with is the same offense with the same ramifications. Additionally, if you do not show up to court a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest. If that happens, when you are ultimately arrested you will not be given a DAT, but you will be handcuffed and brought into court.

In the event you receive a DAT, as opposed to being processed through the system, it is still imperative to retain experienced criminal counsel. Not only can you avoid waiting hours before a public defender meets you and deals with your case, but many critical decisions are made at your arraignment that may have devastating impacts on your case if the incorrect decision is made. Whatever charges you face, contact the former Manhattan prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys at Crotty Saland PC so the correct plan of action can be implemented on your behalf.

Follow us on Twitter at DefenseLawyerNY.

Updated: