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Last Updated on: 15th October 2023, 07:53 am
Receiving a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT) in Westchester County can be very confusing and intimidating. These tickets contain a lot of legal jargon, codes, and numbers that may not make sense to the average person. Having an experienced Westchester DAT lawyer on your side can help explain the ticket, walk you through the court process, and defend your rights. This article provides a helpful overview of DATs in Westchester County – what they are, potential charges, consequences for missing court dates, and why hiring a local lawyer is so important.
A Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT) is a written notice issued by police officers in Westchester County, directing people arrested for certain crimes to appear in criminal court on a future date. While not as serious as a normal arrest, DATs should not be taken lightly. Here’s a quick rundown:
While DATs are preferable to spending a night in jail after a normal arrest, the charges shouldn’t be taken lightly. Consulting an experienced Westchester DAT attorney is highly recommended after receiving a ticket.
Westchester County DATs often involve minor misdemeanor offenses. Some common charges include:
While DATs are often used for minor crimes, some Class E felonies can also result in appearance tickets. Examples include low-level drug sales, minor burglaries, and certain fraud/larceny cases. Never assume a DAT means the charges are insignificant. Consulting an attorney is critical.
A Desk Appearance Ticket will indicate the specific date and court location you must appear at. Missing this court date can have serious consequences:
Bottom line – never skip your DAT court date! Reach out to an attorney who can appear on your behalf or seek an adjournment if necessary. But avoiding court altogether leads to much bigger problems.
Trying to navigate the criminal justice system alone after getting a Desk Appearance Ticket is never advisable. Here are some key benefits of hiring a local Westchester DAT attorney:
While hiring a lawyer involves some upfront cost, it’s often a wise investment to avoid the lasting impact of a criminal conviction. Most DAT attorneys offer free consultations, so you can discuss options at no risk. Don’t go it alone – have an expert local lawyer on your side.
Here are some recommended next steps if you or a loved one receives a Desk Appearance Ticket in Westchester County:
While scary at first, a Desk Appearance Ticket does not have to derail your life. Leverage experienced legal help to navigate the system and achieve the best outcome. Don’t go it alone – consult a Westchester County DAT lawyer today.
This article was written by James Thompson, a practicing criminal defense attorney with over 15 years of experience representing DAT clients in Westchester County and surrounding areas. He has successfully defended hundreds of misdemeanor and felony cases, achieving dismissals, acquittals, and favorable plea deals for his clients. James knows the local courts and prosecutors and draws on this experience to protect the rights and futures of each client. He offers compassionate legal guidance, helping everyday people through the criminal justice system. James provides free consultations to review DAT cases and build the strongest defense. Call today to schedule your appointment.
Here are answers to some common questions about Desk Appearance Tickets in Westchester County:
Q: What should I do after getting a DAT?
A: Remain silent, don’t admit guilt, review the ticket details closely, contact a Westchester DAT lawyer for help.
Q: What if I can’t afford an attorney?
A: Ask the court to appoint a public defender at your first appearance. But private lawyers often get better results.
Q: Can I avoid court by paying the fine beforehand?
A: No, you must appear in Westchester County Court on the date listed. Fines can only be paid after conviction.
Q: What if I’m sick on my court date?
A: Contact your lawyer immediately to seek an adjournment. Never skip court without permission or a warrant will likely issue.
Q: Should I plead guilty and just pay a fine?
A: Not without consulting an attorney. There may be diversion programs or ways to get charges dismissed that avoid fines and convictions.
Q: What should I wear to court?
A: Dress respectfully – for men this usually means a suit and tie. For women, dress professionally. No shorts, hats, ripped jeans, etc.
Q: If the charges get dismissed do I get my fingerprints/photos back?
A: No, the arrest data remains on file but the charges can be sealed if dismissed or acquitted at trial. A DAT lawyer can help with this.
Q: Can I travel internationally if I have an open DAT case?
A: It’s risky to travel outside the country with pending charges. Consult your attorney before making plans.
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