When you appear in Bronx County for your Desk Appearance Ticket, one of the first things that will be accomplished is to establish whether or not your court papers are ready. Despite what is often a fairly lengthy lag time between arrest and DAT appearance date, it frequently happens that the necessary documentation is not ready by the appointed date. It seems that the frequency of non-readiness has diminished lately, but it is something that may happen. If it does, do not be alarmed. It does not mean your case has been singled out for especially harsh treatment. In most cases, the reason for the lack of readiness is purely bureaucratic.

In some cases, the District Attorney’s Office takes a second look at Desk Appearance Ticket cases and may choose not to proceed at all. In such cases, you will be given a piece of paper roughly explaining this and giving you a telephone number to call in the event that you do not hear from anyone within the appointed time.

Sometimes, the District Attorney’s Office simply chooses not to proceed, but not always. Do not assume that your case is going to be dismissed simply because the papers were not ready the first time in court.

If you are told that the papers are not ready, you will be asked to sign in to verify that you actually appeared when you were told to appear. Then you will be free to go and wait to see if you are given a new date to appear in court.


Don Murray is one of the founding partners of Shalley & Murray, a New York criminal defense law firm with offices in New York City and Westchester County. Mr. Murray is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He has been practicing criminal defense in New York for more than 20 years. Any questions or comments about this article or seeking representation on a Desk Appearance Ticket can be directed to him directly at 718-268-2171.