What You Need To Know When You Receive A Desk Appearance Ticket

Published on
September 17, 2023
Nicholas Balboni
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News stories and debates over New York State’s 2020 criminal justice reform have littered the media in the last several years. Conversations have primarily been focused on bail and discovery reform; However, there have been several other changes to the law that impact what happens when an individual is arrested. For example, an individual may be issued a Desk Appearance Ticket rather than being held on bail at the time of arrest. Here is what you need to know if you have received a Desk Appearance Ticket.

Q: What does DAT stand for?

A: Desk Appearance Ticket.

Q: What is a Desk Appearance Ticket?

A: A Desk Appearance Ticket is a written notice from a police officer directing an individual under arrest to appear in Court on a specific date and at a specified time.

Q: At the time of arrest can I receive both a Desk Appearance Ticket and be held in jail on monetary bail?

A: No. Bail is set, in part, to ensure that individuals return to court. When a Desk Appearance Ticket is being issued, the arrested individual is commanded to be back in court by a police officer rather than a Court holding an individual in jail to ensure their return.

Q: Can I be issued a Desk Appearance Ticket for any crime?

A: No. Only certain crimes are eligible for a Desk Appearance Ticket.

Q: What types of crimes can I be given a Desk Appearance Ticket for?

A: You will only be given a Desk Appearance Ticket for certain crimes.  This includes a wide range of crimes and in certain circumstances even E felonies.

Such crimes include:

  1. Trespassing
  2. Petit Larceny
  3. Drug Possession 
  4. Theft of Services 
  5. Grand Larceny

Q: What should I do in between when I receive a Desk Appearance Ticket and when I must appear in Court?

A: The time in between when you receive a Desk Appearance Ticket and when you must appear in Court is a critical time. During this time, you have the opportunity to seek legal advice and ensure that you are properly represented at the time of your arraignment.

Q: What happens at a desk appearance ticket?

A: Every case is different, however, the cornerstone of an individual’s first appearance in Court is to conduct an arraignment. At the time of arraignment, a defendant is advised of their rights; issued a copy of the complaint and allegations against them; and in certain circumstances, may be offered a chance to resolve the case. 

Q: Will your Desk Appearance Ticket have the charges that you will be arraigned on?

A: No. After you are issued a Desk Appearance Ticket, the arresting officer will be in contact with the District Attorney’s Office. After the arresting officer discusses with the District Attorney the facts that led to your arrest, the District Attorney will determine what charges will be brought against you. 

Q: How do I get my Desk Appearance Ticket dismissed?

A: There are several ways in which you may be able to have your Desk Appearance Ticket resolved in a favorable disposition or, in certain circumstances, even dismissed. Often times, a dismissal may result if there is a procedural defect such as the prosecutor’s failure to comply with discovery demands, facial insufficiency of an accusatory instrument, or an uncooperative complainant. 



Desk appearance tickets are serious matter. When your liberty is at stake getting the right guidance from an experienced criminal defense attorney can make all the difference. Contact us today and move ofrward with confidence.