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New York City Desk Appearance Ticket Defense Attorney

Manhattan - Brooklyn - Queens - Bronx - Staten Island Courts

We Fight Desk Appearance Tickets and all criminal cases

desk appearance ticket lawyer nyc

In New York City, receiving a Desk Appearance Ticket from the NYPD requires that you appear in criminal court on the date specified on the ticket for arraignment (or "return date" on the Desk Appearance Ticket). An arraignment is, generally, the beginning of your criminal case. The purpose of the arraignment is to give the prosecutor an opportunity to officially file criminal charges in a criminal complaint, the court a chance to consider setting bail, and your attorney a chance to argue on your behalf. Depending on what your attorney does or does not do, your case could be adjourned or continued to another court date or you may decide to enter a guilty plea to one or all of the charges contained on the complaint. If you enter a guilty plea, you could be sentenced on the spot meaning that the judge could decide the penalty and the guilty plea could be entered on your criminal record. Generally, it is wise to speak with your attorney as soon as you can after you've been arrested to decide the best course of action concerning your desk appearance ticket.

If you and your attorney fail to appear in court at the desk appearance ticket arraignment, this can lead to a warrant being issued for your arrest. This warrant could reflect the nature of the charges for which the desk appearance ticket was originally issued, and could lead to incarceration while you are transported to the court that issued the warrant . A warrant is very serious because it could lead to more incarceration than what you may have received in the underlying case. Can you get your desk appearance ticket date changed? Yes, this is possible but will depend on the facts and circumstances of your case. This is because the criminal court generally makes changing this date difficult or impossible. We can often help clients who have a conflict on their court date with a solution custom tailored to the nature of the conflict. Contact us to discuss this if it is an issue for you.

Desk Appearance Tickets are commonly issued by the NYPD because it saves the City money by avoiding incarceration costs while you wait to see a judge. Almost any New York City misdemeanor can be charged by way of a Desk Appearance Ticket. Occasionally, felony charges can be filed when you appear in court for your Desk Appearance Ticket. This is because final charging decisions are left up to the prosecutor, not the NYPD. For example, if you were arrested in New York City for misdemeanor drug possession and given a Desk Appearance Ticket, you could be charged with felony drug possession when you appear in court if the weight of the drugs technically makes it a felony. Worse, the risk of bail would increase because of the felony charges.

New York City Desk Appearance Tickets are handled at 100 Centre Street or 314 West 54th Street in Manhattan, 120 Schermerhorn Street or 88 Visitation Place in Brooklyn, and 125-01 Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens for Queens cases. These criminal courthouses are designed to process a wide range of criminal charges so desk appearance ticket arraignments are often mixed in with jail arraignments and other matters.

Desk Appearance Ticket Penalties

If you've been arrested and given a desk appearance ticket, the penalties are based on what you're charged with in court. The charges in court are often more than what is listed on your desk appearance ticket. For example, if you see "top offense charged" PL 120.00 this would mean you are being charged with assault on the desk appearance ticket but in court you may face this charge (PL 120.00) and other additional charges such as PL 120.00 (2) for a reckless assault, PL 110/120.00 for attempted assault and so on. You may be charged with something on your desk appearance ticket but when you get to court it may be a totally different or more serious charge. For example, your desk appearance ticket may charge you with a misdemeanor but when you get to court, you may be charged with felonies. This is because an attorney from the District Attorney's Office decides what the official charges will be, not the police department.

ChargeMax PenaltyRecordOther
A misd. (such as assault, property damage, forgery, harassment)364 days jailCriminal RecordJob / Immigration issues
B misd. (such as Lewdness, attempted assault)90 days jailCriminal RecordJob / Immigration issues
D felony (such as Grand Larceny for over $3,000)7 years prisonFelony convictionSevere job / Immigration issues
E felony (such as Grand Larceny for over $1,000)4 years prisonFelony convictionSevere job / Immigration issues

Some of our Desk Appearance Ticket Results:

Manhattan - Assault - Client arrested and given a desk appearance ticket for allegedly hitting a stranger on the sidewalk - Case dismissed, no criminal record (C690)

Queens - Theft - Client was arrested and given a desk appearance ticket for not paying a taxicab upon reaching her destination - Result: Case dismissed, no criminal record (C684)

Manhattan - Assault - Client was arrested and given a desk appearance ticket after a drunken altercation and striking someone in the face - Prosecutor wanted a conviction and criminal penalties but case ultimately dismissed after legal battle in court - Result: Case dismissed, no criminal record (C601)

Brooklyn - Theft of Services - Client was arrested and given a desk appearance ticket for a dispute with a cab driver that resulted in her not paying the fare - Client's second arrest for the same thing - Result: Case dismissed, no criminal record (A852)

Manhattan - Lewdness - Client was arrested for exposing himself in a parked car - Caught on camera - Result: Criminal charges dismissed, no criminal record, small fine (C470)

Queens - Graffiti - Client was arrested and given a desk appearance ticket for spraying a building with paint and suspected in other similar incidents - Result: Criminal charges dismissed, no criminal record, small fine (B750)

Bronx - Stolen Car - Client faced up to 4 years in prison and a felony conviction for grand larceny - Client was arrested and given a desk appearance ticket for being in possession of a stolen car - Result: Case dismissed, no criminal record

Queens - Illegal Ammunition - Client was arrested at the airport for being in possession of illegal ammunition - Result: Case dismissed, no criminal record (C479)

Manhattan - Criminal Mischief (property damage) - Client arrested and given desk appearance ticket following extensive property damage after client got blackout drunk - Result: Case dismissed, some restitution paid, no criminal record (A862)

Staten Island - Illegal Fireworks - Clients were charged with possessing illegal fireworks, arrested, and given a desk appearance ticket. They were caught red handed so to speak and Staten Island can be challenging. Result: Criminal charges dropped, small fine, no criminal record.

Bronx - Forgery - Client was arrested and given a desk appearance ticket for forged plates. This is increasingly common due to traffic cameras and the NYPD is cracking down. Despite the crackdown, case was successfully resolved. Results: Case dismissed, no criminal record (C627)

Manhattan - Grand Larceny - Client faced up to 4 years in prison and a felony conviction - Client was arrested and given a desk appearance ticket for stealing several thousand dollars of merchandise from a retail store. Client gave a full confession. Results: Small fine but no criminal record, no jail (C471)

Lance Fletcher has successfully defended far more desk appearance tickets than there is space for on this web page. For more results, please click here. If you don't see your type of case discussed in the results, please contact us to see if Lance Fletcher has handled a case like yours before (he probably has).

Common NYC Desk Appearance Tickets

Contact us for a desk appearance ticket case evaluation

A New York City Desk Appearance Ticket is an official notice given to you by the NYPD directing you to appear in New York City Criminal Court in connection with a crime you are bring charged with. The Desk Appearance Ticket is designed to provide you with certain minimal information required by CPL section 150.10, however, it is not the same thing as a complaint so it won't give you very much information about what, exactly, you are alleged to have done wrong.

Lance Fletcher, a former Manhattan prosecutor and experienced New York City Criminal Defense Attorney, can fight to get your Desk Appearance Ticket charges dismissed. If you were arrested and given a Desk Appearance Ticket, contact us today (212) 619-3900 (call or text) for a case evaluation. Your rights are often time sensitive so the sooner you contact us, the sooner we can help.

Former NYC Prosecutor Fighting for You

If you were issued a Desk Appearance Ticket in New York City, you need a good lawyer because conviction can lead to a permanent criminal record and worse. Most misdemeanors are punishable by up to 1 year in jail. We have avoided jail time and obtained dismissals for countless desk appearance ticket clients charged with shoplifting, cocaine, MDMA, and marijuana possession, possession of stolen property, larceny, assault, exposure, theft of services, and other crimes. Our clients are typically good people in bad situation including financial professionals, teachers, doctors, business people, government employees, and other professionals who realize that a criminal record could lead to joblessness.

We are often asked how a desk appearance ticket can be dismissed. Like a lot of things in law, a quick answer is usually a wrong answer so Lance Fletcher prefers to spend a little time to get to know you and your situation. It is from these details of your case that a winning strategy can often be realized. Mr. Fletcher can also take steps to verify that your record has been properly cleared depending on the outcome of your case. Whether you were recently arrested or the arrest happened weeks or months ago, contact us for a case evaluation to discuss your options. The sooner you call, the sooner we can help. We are available 7 days a week at (212) 619-3900, email us at, or you can submit a contact form below.

Fighting for Your Rights

In & Out of the Courtroom

In New York, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony on a Desk Appearance Ticket. The District Attorney can even charge you you with different or additional charges beyond what the NYPD initially charged you with. Misdemeanors carry up to a year in jail, felonies can mean years in state prison if convicted. With such serious penalties at stake, it is essential that you contact us right away. With prosecution experience, we are able to predict the actions that the opposing side may take, and counteract them to build an even stronger defense. From the moment of your initial consultation all the way through your final resolution, we will work tirelessly to help you secure the most favorable results possible. To learn more about the defense we provide or to schedule your case evaluation, be sure to contact us today.

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