There are many situations in New York that a person could be arrested, but not taken to jail and put through the booking process. Instead of doing this, the arresting law enforcement officer will issue the person a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT). This is a document that will require the person go to the criminal court at a designated date in the future.
When a person attends their DATS court hearing, they will be arraigned in front of a judge from the criminal court. There are a number of reasons a person could receive a DAT. This includes criminal acts such as Class E Felonies as well as misdemeanors and more. People have gotten a DAT for driving with a suspended license, assault, harassment, larceny and more. Issuing a DAT is done at the discretion of law enforcement in many different circumstances. The reason for giving a person a DAT, instead of taking them to the police station for booking, is that it’s believed the arrested person is not a flight risk. The arresting officer has determined the person can be trusted to be in court on the designated day.
It is essential when a person is issued a DAT: they take it serious. In some situations, people have gotten a jail sentence at their DAT court date. Too many people make the mistake of believing that since they were given a DAT, and not booked into jail, their case is not too bad. They don’t realize they still have a chance of getting a significant punishment for their charges. Being arrested and given a DAT does a pose a real and very serious threat of a person getting a criminal record. This could have some very negative consequences for their career, family and other situations outside of the courtroom.
One of the first things that happen when a person appears in court for their DAT is they find out if their court papers are ready. It is possible they will not be ready. This does not mean a person’s case is the focus of special attention; it usually is the result of bureaucratic inefficiency. When this does happen, a person is asked to sign in as proof they appeared at the time requested on their DAT. A person can then leave but will be given a new date for their court appearance.
No Further Action
It is possible for a prosecutor at the District Attorney’s office to carefully examine the facts of a DAT and decide it is better to not proceed with the case. When this happens, a person will be given a paper that describes this situation and provides contact information should they have questions.
It is important when people who have been issued a DAT they understand the seriousness of the situation. It is often a good idea for them to discuss their DAT with a defense attorney. These legal professionals will be able to help a person understand the legal consequences of the DAT they were issued. A defense attorney will know how to approach the charges associated with a DAT. In most cases, a defense attorney won’t be able to negotiate with the prosecutor prior to the scheduled court date. A prosecutor will most likely not have yet been assigned to the case.
Appear On Client’s Behalf
It is possible in certain circumstances for an attorney to appear in court on behalf of their client for a DAT hearing. This can only be done if there is a very compelling reason for it to occur. Doing this does involve a certain level of risk. If a judge does not agree with the reason for the person not appearing, they can issue a warrant for the person’s arrest. This is something that should only be considered after being discussed with an experienced defense attorney.
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