What is a Desk Appearance Ticket?
A Desk Appearance Ticket, sometimes referred to as a DAT or an appearance ticket, is a summons that is sometimes issued by the police in New York State to those accused of offenses and certain misdemeanors. Receiving a desk appearance ticket usually means that the defendant spends less time detained by the police at the time of arrest, the defendant is typically released on a relatively low police station bail, and arraignment is delayed for about 30 days.
It is always advantageous for a defendant to be released on a desk appearance ticket, but there are strict guidelines under the New York Criminal Procedure Law governing when these desk appearance tickets may be issued.
Desk Appearance Tickets are authorized by Criminal Procedure Law Section 150.20. Although there may be policy variations by county or precinct, Desk Appearance Tickets can be issued for E felonies and most misdemeanors.
By statute, certain crimes are excluded from a Desk Appearance Ticket alternative. These currently include the following:
- Rape in the Third Degree as a Class E felony
- Criminal Sexual Act in the Third Degree as a Class E felony
- Escape in the Second Degree as a Class E Felony
- Absconding From Temporary Release in the First Degree as a Class E Felony
- Absconding From A Community treatment Facility as a Class e Felony
- Bail Jumping in the Second Degree as a Class E Felony
Keep in mind that issuance of a Desk Appearance Ticket, though authorized, may only be issued at the discretion of the arresting officer or Desk Sergeant. A defendant never has a right to a Desk Appearance Ticket. Typically, they are issued for minor offenses including marijuana offenses, shoplifting offenses, or harassment offenses.
Keep in mind, however, that Desk Appearance Tickets are generally not issued anywhere in the New York City metropolitan area or Long Island for offenses involving domestic disputes, no matter how minor the offense may be.
As always, please do not rely on anything contained in this article as legal advice. Laws change frequently, policies change frequently, and each matter is unique. There is no substitute for hiring your own lawyer to evaluate your situation.