Desk Appearance Ticket
Desk Appearance Tickets up until recently were issued at the discretion of the arresting officer. Most desk appearance tickets were issued for Penal Law violations or lesser misdemeanor charges but the rule of discretion has changed.
Being issued a desk appearance ticket may make the charges seem less severe than if you were taken to be arraigned, however this is not the case. A desk appearance ticket is an order requiring you appear in criminal court, under the accusation that you have committed a specific offense. Desk appearance tickets can be issued for a multitude of charges, such as unlawful possession of marijuana, driving without a license and even petit larceny. Beginning January 1, 2020, the legislature imposed new rules requiring that the majority of misdemeanor charges and a significant amount of felony charges all require a desk appearance ticket to be issued instead of processing an arraignment. This decision allows some time to seek attorney representation before proceeding to court. If you need assistance with handling a desk appearance ticket, call our office today to speak to one of our experienced New York criminal defense attorneys.
Part of the changes in the laws regarding desk appearance tickets regulated what they are to be issued for. Now, desk appearance tickets can be issued for violations, such as trespassing which have a maximum sentence of a few days in jail. However, almost all misdemeanors (punishable by a jail sentence) and all Class E felonies (punishable by a state prison sentence) will now only be issued desk appearance tickets.
Another change that comes with the new legislation is the length of time between the ticket having been issued and the appearance date given. Some appearances would be given for a month, maybe even two months later, whereas now there is a maximum of 20 days to be between the date of issuance and the date of appearance. This does also mean that you will have a maximum of 20 days to discuss these charges with an attorney before your first court appearance. If you find yourself in a situation like this, there is still time for our experienced New York criminal defense attorneys to aid you in gathering a defense to these charges.
It is important to also keep in mind that the date you have been given to appear is not a trial date, not is it a sentencing date. This first appearance is where you will be provided a formal copy of the charges against you and you either plead guilty or not guilty. The judge will accept the plea and the case will be sent to the regular criminal courtrooms, in which it will proceed as a normal criminal case. At this stage, if you have not done so it is imperative that you reach out to one of our experienced New York criminal defense attorneys to discuss the matter further and begin working on your defense to the charges. They may have been infrequent in the past, but beginning January 2020, desk appearance tickets are not something that can be ignored.