What it Means if you Receive a Desk Appearance Ticket (D.A.T.) in New York
This summary will give some basic information regarding desk appearance tickets in the City of New York.
Desk Appearance Tickets (D.A.T.): What they are and what you should do and expectA Desk Appearance Ticket (commonly referred to as a D.A.T.) is a notice of court date that is given to someone who has been arrested by the police. The only difference between a D.A.T. and any other arrest is that in the case of a D.A.T., the police have made a determination that the person arrested need not be sent to Central Booking and have faith that they will show up in court voluntarily to answer the charges. Before being issued a D.A.T., the person under arrest will still be fingerprinted and photographed. If the arrested person has a lengthy criminal record, history of violence or warrants, it is unlikely that a D.A.T. will be given. Usually, the charges must be misdemeanor or lower to be eligible. On the date that the person arrested must show up in court, they will be arraigned before a Criminal Court Judge with their attorney present. While the prosecutor can request that bail be set, it is unusual for the Court to do so because the defendant has already demonstrated that they are not a flight risk. One of the advantages in receiving a D.A.T. is that the person arrested has plenty of time (usually a month or longer) in which they can meet with and hire a criminal defense attorney before they have to go to court. This is important because it will provide additional time to prepare and devise a plan before the case is even docketed in the Criminal Court. Conversely, the District Attorney's Offices rarely investigate these cases before the return date that is listed on the D.A.T. Occasionally, the case may not be "ready" on the date that the D.A.T. is scheduled for. The reason that this sometimes happens is that the Criminal Court cannot "docket" a case until they have received both the police arrest paperwork and the District Attorney's criminal complaint. In the event that these documents are not filed on time, the case will be rescheduled by the Court. It is important to understand that a D.A.T. will still result in criminal charges being filed. Retaining an experienced attorney with a background in the area of criminal defense is very important in order to secure the best possible outcome of the case. Robert S. Gershon is a former New York City prosecutor, a past President of the local Criminal Bar Association and has been practicing criminal defense since 1996.
A great number of Desk Appearance Tickets are issued for shoplifting, here's what you need to know.Knowing what to expect when you have been charged with shoplifting in New York State can make all the difference in the outcome of your criminal defense case. Getting arrested for shoplifting can be both embarrassing and stressful. If that isn't enough, you may be facing criminal charges that carry potential jail sentences of up to one year. The good news is that in most cases such as these, my clients have walked away without any criminal record at all. If you are accused of taking merchandise from a store, you will likely be charged with petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, which are misdemeanor charges as per the New York State Penal Law. A misdemeanor conviction would result in a criminal record, the collection of your DNA for a State database and potential problems down the road. These could include problems with job applications, college or technical school applications, professional licensing, immigration status and more. Many people are under the impression that a shoplifting charge is a difficult one to beat. However, there are many instances where a case such as this cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, resulting in a dismissal of all charges. In addition, Robert S. Gershon can often get a dismissal of the case without going to trial, especially if it is a first offense. In New York State, the business where the alleged theft occurred may be able to file a civil claim against the defendant under what is known as the New York General Obligations Law. This New York State law provides for additional civil penalties if the business can provide proof of damages. According to the law, damages in the amount of "the retail price of the merchandise if not recovered in merchantable condition up to an amount not to exceed fifteen hundred dollars" and a penalty not to exceed five hundred dollars, can be imposed, should the civil courts rule in the favor of the business.