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Manhattan Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT) Lawyers

Certain crimes in New York do not necessarily rise to the level of there being a necessity to book a person and put them in jail. Instead, for certain offenses an officer may decide that it is more prudent to issue an individual a desk appearance ticket (DAT) that instructs them to appear before the criminal court at a later date.

The purpose of a DAT ticket is to keep the jails from overcrowding. Those who may have committed a criminal offense but are deemed to not be much of a threat to society as a whole may receive a DAT ticket in lieu of a criminal booking.

What A DAT Appearance Looks Like

A person who attends a DAT hearing will be arraigned by a criminal court judge on whatever charge it was for which they were given the original ticket. Those in this circumstance are likely people who have committed crimes such as driving on a suspended license or some other such minor offense that does not necessarily rise to the level of something that needs to be pursued farther than that.

Still A Serious Matter

Even though receiving a ticket rather than being booked may make the charge seem a lot less serious, this is not the mindset that you want to go into this with. You might end up not taking your DAT ticket as seriously as you honestly should. These are still tickets that do require you to appear before a court. If you decide that you are going to take them lightly, you are doing so at your own risk.

If you were to fail to appear on your scheduled court date, the judge will likely issue a bench warrant for your arrest. At that point you would end up getting arrested if you were to be stopped by a law enforcement officer for any reason. You would then have to answer for the original charge as well as for a failure to appear charge and perhaps more. It would only make the situation that much worse for you is the moral of the story.

Getting Court Papers Ready

Upon appearing in court the charged individual will learn if their court papers are ready yet or not. In the event that they are not this does not mean that you are home free. it probably just means that someone along the assembly line of the court system failed to get your paperwork in order before your scheduled hearing. It may mean that your next court appearance is delayed until that paperwork can be organized and produced.

You still have the potential to face a criminal record even if the paperwork is not prepared when you first go out to the court to deal with whatever it is that law enforcement has thrown at you.

Dropping The Charges

There are cases in which the prosecutor decides to drop the charges. They may look at the DAT ticket and decide that your case is honestly not worth their time and trouble. Don’t count on this happening, but it is a possibility. They might just see that you are not very much of a threat to the way of life in the community. If that is their determination, then you may be free to move about with your business without any farther action.

Getting An Attorney

Even for a DAT ticket you are going to want to have an attorney working for you. The reality is that many people do not think that this type of ticket could lead to criminal charges down the line. That is not the case though. It is entirely possible that someone who starts out with a DAT ticket may end up with a criminal record when it is all said and done.

It is critically important that those who are going through the legal system right now understand their rights and why it is so important to protect them. You can defend yourself in court if you feel you have been wronged. Get competent legal council to help with this.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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