Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT)

ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT IN NEW YORK CITY? Manhattan Brooklyn Queens Bronx & Staten Island

HIRE JASON A. STEINBERGER

FORMER NY ASSAULT PROSECUTOR

FORMER ADJUNCT LAW PROFESSOR  

WHAT IS A DESK APPEARANCE TICKET?

A Desk Appearance Ticket or DAT is an official document issued by the Police Department that commands the appearance of an arrested person to appear before a judge in a New York State Criminal Court on a future date for arraignment.  Whereas most people arrested will be taken to Central Booking and then later, before  judge to be arraigned in a New York Criminal Court, a Desk Appearance Ticket is given instead of being held in Central Booking so that the person arrested can come to a New York Criminal Court on a future date on their own. 


WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DESK APPEARANCE TICKET AND A DAT?

A DAT is the same thing as a Desk Appearance Ticket.  The term DAT is simply an abbreviation the term Desk Appearance Ticket.


IF I WAS GIVEN  A DESK APPEARANCE TICKET WAS I ARRESTED?

If you were issued a Desk Appearance Ticket, then  you were arrested.  The New York City Police Department only has the authority to issue a Desk Appearance Ticket after a person has been arrested.  After a police officer issues makes an arrest, they have the discretion, in certain circumstances, to issue a Desk Appearance Ticket if they believe that the person arrested will be released by a judge and will return to court.  

CAN A DEFENSE ATTORNEY NEGOTIATE A DESK APPEARANCE TICKET WITH A PROSECUTOR BEFORE THE COURT DATE?

Unfortunately, in most circumstances, a Criminal Defense Attorney cannot negotiate a dispostion with a prosecutor before you are scheduled to appear in Criminal Court. The reason is simple.  At the time your case is drafted and ready for court, no prosecutor has been assigned to investigate the charges.  In most counties, a separate Desk Appearance Ticket Unit, drafts the criminal charges and the first time a prosecutor sees the case is the day of the court appearance.  However, depending on the nature of your charges, a criminal defense attorney may be able to negotiate a deal on the day of your court appearance.  


FOR WHAT CRIMES MAY A POLICE OFFICER ISSUE A DESK APPEARANCE TICKET

In New York, a police officer may issue a Desk Appearance Ticket for any misdemeanor offense or for any class E felony, other than those crimes involving Domestic Violence or DWI.

IF I WAS GIVEN A ISSUED A DESK APPEARANCE TICKET, DOES THAT MEAN THAT MY CASE IS LESS SERIOUS

No. If you were issued a Desk Appearance Ticket, all that means is that the arresting police officer determined that you were not a flight risk.  The proseutor may still request bail at your arraignment.  Additionally, the prosecutor may request a jail sentence at your arraingment or any time after.  Do not make the mistake of assuming that because you were given a DAT or Desk Appearance Ticket that your case is less serious.