Desk appearance ticket

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In New York City, a desk appearance ticket (DAT) is an order to appear in the New York City Criminal Court for an arraignment. A person who receives a DAT has been arrested. The DAT is simply one of two alternative means by which a person who is arrested appears for arraignment, or first appearance. A person who receives a DAT is permitted to appear in court on their own on the date indicated on the DAT document. A person who does not receive a DAT is processed through the arrest to arraignment system and is supposed to have their arraignment within 24 hours. From the point that the case is arraigned, a DAT case is like any other criminal case. DATs are usually only issued for misdemeanors in which there is little chance that the defendant will flee the jurisdiction;[1] currently, DATs may be issued for violation, misdemeanors, and "E" felonies. If a person fails to return to court on the date indicated on the DAT, the Court will issue an arrest warrant.[2]

The authority for a DAT is found in Criminal Procedure Law §150.10, which describes a DAT as "a written notice issued and subscribed by a police officer... directing a designated person to appear in a designated local criminal court at a designated future time in connection with his alleged commission of a designated offense."

A person who is eligible for a DAT is not automatically entitled to a DAT. The decision to proceed by way of DAT will always be in the discretion of the police department. During the Giuliani administration, the practice of proceeding by DAT was drastically reduced in favor of sending most cases through the traditional arrest to arraignment system. This was thought to be a way to ensure that those getting DATs did not have outstanding arrest warrants. Since then, the practice of proceeding by way of DAT in eligible cases has risen, but still is not as common as it once was.

A universal summons (summons ticket) is another type of appearance ticket (authorized by CPL article 150) that directs a defendant to appear for arraignment at a future date, but it also serves as the accusatory instrument (unlike a complaint filed by a prosecutor, as with a DAT) and the defendant is not arrested.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Medows, James. "Why Do Police Issue DATs in Brooklyn?". Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Desk Appearance Tickets". The Law Office of Lance Fletcher, PLLC - New York City Criminal Defense Attorney. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  3. ^ New York City Criminal Courts Manual. New York County Lawyers' Association. 2011. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-105-20162-2.