I was given a Pink Summons for Disorderly Conduct, is that considered an arrest? A police officer gave me a white Desk Appearance Ticket after being held at Century 21 for shoplifting, was I arrested? Reasonable questions associated with what may be a once in a lifetime mistake, “white tickets” and “pink tickets” are distinct mechanisms to land you, an accused offender, before the criminal courts of New York City. While a pink summons is returnable to 1 Centre Street or 314 West 54th Street for Manhattan infractions, 1 Centre Street for Brooklyn violations and 120-55 Queens Blvd. for Queens offenses, they are quite different than their white Desk Appearance Ticket counterpart. Yes, you might find yourself at Midtown Community Court at 314 West 54th Street along with someone issued a pink summons, but Desk Appearance Tickets, a/k/a, DATs, are generally prosecuted in the criminal courts of 100 Centre Street for Manhattan, 120 Schermerhorn for Brooklyn and 125-01 Queens Blvd. for Queens cases. Although the location you appear is telling, the question remains. Is being issued a New York City summons or DAT considered an arrest?
The short answer to the above question is that while a pink summons does not mean the police arrested you, a white appearance ticket in NYC means something quite different. If you were issued an appearance ticket you were fingerprinted and an arrest number generated. Moreover, with this arrest, the State of New York assigned you a unique New York State Identification Number (NYSID) that will be linked to your specific fingerprints going forward.
The distinction between a Desk Appearance Ticket and summons in NYC is in large part that the latter is not the result of an arrest while the former is the mechanism to process an arrest. However, know that while most pink summonses are issued for non-printable offenses, you can be issued a pink summons for a misdemeanor crime. Moreover, if you demand as much, you can have your case prosecuted in the “real” criminal court where more serious crimes are prosecuted. Other differences between the processes between these two tickets include that summonses are not prosecuted by prosecutors, but the judges “wear that hat.”
Yes, there are other distinctions between “pink tickets” and “white tickets” in New York City that you should address with your criminal defense lawyer, but know that these two mechanisms to prosecute offenses share one important characteristic. Failure to show up for any court date regardless of where your case is pending will result in a bench warrant and, should the police stop you randomly, knock on your door or come to your place of business, expect to be hauled off to jail or to see a judge. There are no trivial matters. To learn more about New York City Desk Appearance Tickets as well as the crimes often prosecuted through DATs and pink summonses, follow the links above or go directly to NYDeskAppearanceTicket.Com.
Crotty Saland PC is a New York criminal defense firm representing clients in all NYC Desk Appearance Ticket arrests and Pink Summons cases throughout the City of New York. Both founding New York criminal lawyers at Crotty Saland PC served as prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office prior to establishing the criminal law practice.