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Desk Appearance Tickets (DATs)

Desk Appearance Tickets (DATs)

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When arrested, people are routinely given what are called "Desk Appearance Tickets" or "DATs" for short. A Desk Appearance Ticket is legally the same thing as a formal arrest. Because the police, the District Attorney's Office, and judges all treat Desk Appearance Tickets seriously, you should too. It is critical that you contact a New York City criminal defense lawyer immediately any time you are arrested, even if it's "only" for a DAT.

Our attorney has handled virtually every type of criminal case as both a defender and prosecutor. Arrange a free consultation by calling (212) 577-9328.

What is a DAT?

After arresting and processing a suspect, police do not always feel the need to keep them in central booking. Instead, they will issue a DAT, which gives a date and time for when the arrestee is due in court for their arraignment.

There are a few factors that determine whether a defendant will be placed in central booking or given a DAT:

  • If a person is charged with a felony, a domestic violence crime, or has a significant criminal record, then they will be kept in central booking until their arraignment. In these cases, the arraignment must happen within 24 hours.
  • Police may give a person a DAT if the crime is a misdemeanor and they believe the person will not miss their court date or run away. In this situation, you can await your arraignment at home.

Don’t let the use of the word “Ticket” fool you. If you were given a DAT, you were placed under arrest, and you could be facing serious penalties, including jail time. You need to start building your defense.

Take Advantage of the Time You Have Before Your Arraignment

If you or a loved one has been issued a DAT and if you don’t go to Court on the date you were instructed to go, the judge will issue a warrant for your arrest, meaning the police will arrest you on sight. It is extremely important you arrive at court at the specified date.

The upside of receiving a DAT is that you have time to find an attorney and start planning for your arraignment. This is a crucial period, as the police will be using this time to gather evidence against you. Our founder is a former Manhattan prosecutor and an experienced Manhattan criminal defense attorney.

Call us at (212) 577-9328 to get started with a free consultation.


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