A desk appearance ticket, sometimes referred to as an appearance ticket or DAT, is a notice issued by a police officer. The notice states that a defendant must appear in court at a date and time designated on the notice. This occurs when the defendant is connected to an alleged crime.
A DAT is considered more serious than an NYPD summons, which appears on pink paper. In most cases, a DAT is issued when the crime in question is a misdemeanor charge. There are rare cases in which a DAT might be issued for a non-violent Class E felony.
For the most part, though, any violent crimes or more severe felonies have to go through the normal arrest process.
If you receive a ticket but you don’t appear at the specified time, the court has the right to issue a warrant. It’s possible that the warrant will lead to serious consequences, including arrest at home or long incarceration periods.
A bench warrant is the type of warrant that will be issued for a failure to appear in court. Bench warrants are slightly different from arrest warrants. In many ways, bench warrants and arrest warrants have the same potential execution. If there is a bench warrant for your arrest, law enforcement officers have the right to break into your home to arrest you. They do not, however, have the right to break into the home of a third party who isn’t affiliated with the warrant.
The purpose of a bench warrant is to get you to appear in court. When law enforcement arrests you for a bench warrant, the only person who can close the warrant is the judge who issued it in the first place. Generally, the judge won’t close the warrant until you appear in court.
After you are arrested, a law enforcement officer might choose to issue a desk appearance ticket rather than taking you through the central booking process. This means that the DAT system substitutes the “normal” process for arrest. On the DAT, you’ll see a listed return date stating when and where you should appear for your arraignment. You should make sure your lawyer is present at your arraignment.
Your arraignment is the time at which you’ll find out what charges have been leveled against you. The judge will also set bail, deny bail, or release you on your own recognizance. The potential consequences for your DAT vary widely depending on the charges. If you’re convicted of the charges, you might face fines, immigration consequences, incarceration, and a permanent criminal record.
If your charges are related to shoplifting, the store has a right to sue for damages. These damages tend to exceed the merchandise value by a large margin. For assault charges, there’s a risk that you will have civil liability consequences on top of the criminal charges. Civil liability occurs when the victim sues you for damages.
This is why it’s so important to have your attorney present when you’re formally charged. Sometimes, the charges won’t be what you expected. Your lawyer will understand the severity and circumstances behind the charges. They can review the facts of your case and prepare the best available defense for you.
To discuss the potential consequences of your DAT, you should get in contact with an experienced New York defense attorney. The law offices of Robert Tsigler are filled with competent lawyers and staff who have been practicing law for years. They have experience with every aspect of criminal defense on both the federal and state level. Regardless of the charges or circumstances behind your arrest, there is a defense attorney who can help. Call 718-878-3781 for a consultation or fill out the contact form here.