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Suffolk County Desk Appearance Ticket

When you are arrested for particular misdemeanor offenses in New York, you may receive a desk appearance ticket instead of a ticket directly. This document is separate from what you might receive in a citation or a traffic ticket after speaking to a police officer.

What is a Desk Appearance Ticket?

A desk appearance ticket in New York is a simple document requesting that you make a court appearance. The responsibility of the person accused of a crime or violation is to show up in court to answer to these charges. You may also be eligible to receive a desk appearance ticket in Suffolk County or Nassau County if the highest offense alleged is a class E felony.

Although the use of a desk appearance ticket in any felony case in New York is extremely rare, the officer speaking with you and ultimately giving you the potential ticket will have broad discretion over whether or not to use a DAT. If you are issued a DAT, you are not officially going through the system in the criminal courts throughout New York, including the Bronx, Queens or Brooklyn. Instead a desk appearance ticket allows you to go home after receiving the ticket and return to court later. This is different from other situations in which a police officer may request that you be held in jail until you can see a judge for your arraignment. DATs are reserved for those individuals who have been accused of misdemeanor offenses, classified as non-violent, so long you have no criminal warrants, open cases or a previous criminal record.

In the majority of cases, a DAT will not be issued for a domestic violence case or in situations in which you are accused of violating an order or protection. The greatest advantage of a DAT is that it enables you to avoid waiting up to 24 hours in central booking. If you have been given a DAT or if you have been contacted by a law enforcement officer who is encouraging you to accept a DAT in return for cooperating with the investigation, you need a New York criminal defense attorney who understands this and will work hard to protect you.

In some cases, the police may be trying to encourage you to come in to provide further information via the promise of a DAT. The officer may have no intention of following through on his or her promise and they may inform you that you do not need an attorney. However, in all cases involving potential criminal charges, it is in your best interests to retain a criminal defense attorney to at least advise you about what to expect. You should never rely on a police officer who is telling you that he or she can guarantee anything until you have had the opportunity to talk things over with your attorney.

A Suffolk County DAT attorney can tell you more about the tactics that may be used by police officers to try to get you to give more information than you are legally required to provide. In any case, being accused of a crime is a serious matter and one that deserves the insight of an experienced New York criminal defense attorney. Your attorney will work hard to be on your side, but an arresting officer is not. The best way to preserve your rights in any criminal case including those in which you have been given a DAT is to get an experienced lawyer immediately. An attorney can ensure that you do not make some of the most common mistakes associated with being accused of a crime, such as giving a confession.

An attorney also increases the chances that the police will follow through with any promises made and gives you protection throughout each stage of the legal process. A knowledgeable Suffolk County criminal defense attorney who has a background in assisting those with DATs can help you with any other criminal charges you are facing as well. The police department may issue a desk appearance ticket, which will name the top offense charge, the arraignment part where you are expected to appear, the county and the courtroom number, date, time and location. It will usually state that you are summoned to appear in a particular court and that you must appear on the date and time indicated above and present the form provided to the court clerk.

Additional instructions may be included on your DAT. You will have to sign the DAT to acknowledge that you got a copy of it and that you agreed to appear as instructed on the form. Once you have done this, consulting with a New York criminal defense attorney should be your next step.

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