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The Desk Appearance Ticket Process - Overview

Criminal cases generally begin with a formal arrest. A police officer may choose, with certain offenses, to issue a desk appearance ticket if you are deemed to be a low flight risk. Just as in a formal arrest, you may be handcuffed and brought to a police station. There, the officer collects basic information and processes your prints. Once booking is complete, you are given the appearance ticket and allowed to leave. Ocassionally, you may have to post bail before leaving. Desk appearance tickets can be issued for misdemeanors or violations. After its been issued, the arresting officer will contact the District Attorney’s Office (DA) to prepare a complaint which is then filed in criminal court in time for your arraignment on the " return date". The time between being issued a desk appearance ticket and the return date is a critical period. Although you've been arrested, you have not been formally charged in court and it may be possible to avoid the filing of charges against you. Contact us for more details.

At your arraignment on the "return date" you may be interviewed by the Criminal Justice Agency and fingerprinted (if this wasn't already done). The Criminal Justice Agency will provide a recommendation to the arraignment judge regarding whether you should be held without bail, held with bail, or released without bail ( ROR). If bail is set, it may be paid at any courthouse during business hours and/or at the city jail where you are being held at any time. Click here to locate someone being held by the New York City Department of Correction and to find out how much bail has been set. If you are released, you must appear for all future court appearances (adjournments) which can occur every month or so, depending on the case. Contact us for more details.

After the arraignment, your case will be litigated in a calendar part where the DA may need to file certain paperwork. There, your attorney can make motions on your behalf, and demand discovery (disclosure of what the government’s evidence is). Litigation also affords an opportunity to plea bargain and where your case may be successfully resolved. A misdemeanor case may be resolved after only one court appearance but it may take many more, depending on the severity of the charges and the complexity of the case. Contact us to learn how long your case may last (link to contact page).

Litigation ends with a dismissal, plea-bargain, conviction, or acquittal after trial. Our office is prepared to handle your case at any stage up to and including trail. Call 212.619.3900 for a confidential case evaluation.

Criminal Court is a complicated place to find yourself. Because your or your loved one’s case is pending in New York City / the New York City Metropolitan Area, there are two things to keep in mind. First of all, the courts are extremely crowded and overburdened. Depending on how your Desk Appearance Ticket is handled, this can work for you or against you. Secondly, there is no such thing as a typical case. There are over five hundred attorneys at the Manhattan DA’s Office, and over one-thousand five-hundred prosecuting attorneys in New York City alone with unique personalities and differing attitudes about crime. As there are numerous prosecutors, so there are numerous judges and other court personnel. Most cases are not based on direct physical evidence, but the recollection of a witness which was formed at a particular time and place in a crowded, chaotic city. No two cases ever have the same facts, witnesses, prosecutors or judges. Never enter the New York City Criminal System without an experienced New York City Criminal Defense Lawyer and our office is ready to take on the simplest to the most complicated Desk Appearance Ticket case. Mr. Fletcher has successfully handled hundreds of Desk Appearance Tickets in New York City. Contact us for a confidential case evaluation (link).

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