Why You Need an Attorney for a NYC Desk Appearance Ticket: From Immigration and Minimizing Collateral Consequences to Avoiding Warrants and Criminal Convictions

A routine and common sentiment heard by New York City Desk Appearance lawyers is that an appearance ticket, aka, DAT, is not a big deal. After all, a DAT is not an arrest and misdemeanor crimes don’t stay on the record, right (wrong!)? So, why worry? Why would you retain or hire a lawyer in New York City for a Desk Appearance Ticket? Better asked, should you get an attorney for an appearance ticket in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx? In one word, “yes.”

While a New York Desk Appearance Ticket may charge a lesser crime, each and every misdemeanor or felony upon a conviction will result in a lifelong public criminal record searchable and reviewable by Homeland Security, any and all immigration authorities, potential creditors, future employers, and just about anyone who does a background check for co-op apartment, medical and professional licensure or merely because they want to dig into your history.

Because criminal convictions in New York are never expunged (they can be sealed pursuant to New York Criminal Procedure Law 160.59 depending on the crime and whether it is ten years old or more), it behooves you to take your DAT seriously. Are you a legal resident or a foreign national with a visa? An attorney admitted to a state’s bar? A college student set to graduate and seek employment? Regardless of who you are or what your background is, taking the steps today to challenge or mitigate your criminal allegations and arrest can save you a lifetime of “I should haves” and “Why didn’t Is.”

There are a few things that you should keep in mind when deciding how to proceed with your appearance ticket or DAT in New York City Criminal Court. In no particular order, if you are charged with a crime such as Assault, Menacing, Criminal Possession of a Weapon or some related offense, if you wait to secure evidence such as video surveillance or statements from witnesses until you appear in court, more than a month could have transpired and the evidence will be long gone or tainted. If you are not going to be in the jurisdiction on your court date, your attorney can potentially appear on your behalf. Moreover, if you know you will resolve the matter in court and the District Attorney will mandate some form of community service or treatment before resolution, such as with some PL 220.03, PL 265.01 or PL 155.25 arrests for first time offenders, your lawyer can possibly arrange with prosecutors to address this condition before you leave New York. Beyond these scenarios, it may be that you in fact did nothing wrong. Why wait until court four, six or even more weeks later to begin the exoneration process? Maybe you can present evidence before your court date or at a minimum advance your arraignment to see the judge to move things along faster. After all, you may have a pending background check and you need closure as soon as possible.

At bottom, a first time offender given a Desk Appearance Ticket in New York City for Trespassing, Seventh Degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, Fourth Degree Criminal Mischief or many other class “A” or “B” misdemeanors may never see a day in jail, but minimizing collateral issues associated with careers, employment, travel and immigration are almost as important as making sure your case is handled correctly from inception.

To educate yourself on Desk Appearance Tickets in New York City, follow the links above to the Saland Law PC New York Desk Appearance Ticket Information Page and NYDeskAppearanceTicket.Com.

Saland Law PC is a New York criminal defense firm established by two former Manhattan prosecutors. The New York criminal lawyers at Saland Law PC represent clients in NYC appearance tickets as well as both misdemeanor and felony crimes throughout the City of New York and the Hudson Valley from Westchester and Rockland to Putnam and Dutchess Counties.

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