New York Family Court Appearance Tickets - What Happens when your Minor Child is Arrested in New York

When your under age child is arrested in New York, for misdemeanor offenses like petit larceny or possession of controlled substance or marijuana, you may find that he or she has been given a Family Court Appearance Ticket to appear for an “intake interview”. This Family Court Appearance Ticket is similar to the desk appearance ticket of adult Criminal Court, but it is a very different process altogether, and requires that you find a criminal lawyer.

The appearance your child is required to make in Family Court, unlike the appearance in Criminal Court is NOT in actual Court. This first appearance is for what is called an “intake interview” with the Department of Probation. In part based upon this interview, the Department of Probation will decide whether to pursue the criminal charges in Family Court or not. This means that, if the interview goes well, the Department of Probation has the power to take steps that will ultimately result in the matter never hitting Family Court or Criminal Court.

The term for this is “adjusting” the case. An adjusted case is a case that is declined to be pursued, either outright or if certain conditions are met. Getting a case adjusted is a tremendous result because it means that the matter never is pursued, there are no appearances in Family Court required, and there is no more risk of custody for your child at the hands of New York State.

Therefore, it is extremely important if your child has a Family Court appearance ticket on a criminal charge that you obtain a criminal lawyer who can help prepare you and your child for this intake interview with the Department of Probation. The more well-prepared your child is and you are for this intake interview, the more likely it is that a favorable result like “adjustment” will occur.

And if the case isn’t adjusted, at least you can be confident that your child’s interests are being protected from the start, especially in the context of interviews with Government representatives.

It is tempting to assume that a Court with a safe sounding name like Family Court, is a friendly sort of place where nothing bad can happen to your child. And yet, while it is generally true that Family Court has been designed with the special needs of juveniles in mind, it is also true that when juveniles are charged with crimes, Family Court represents a potential threat to the very freedom and future of your child. Where your child is concerned, never simply assume that Family Court will always do the right thing. You need to fight for your child.

In several ways, Family Court is a more dangerous place for your child than Criminal Court. One critical and devastating difference between Criminal and Family Court, for example, is that in Family Court your child has no right to a jury trial. The independent jury, one of the hallmarks of criminal justice in America, does not exist in Family Court.

It is important, if your child is accused of a crime, whether the matter is being sorted out in Criminal Court or Family Court, that you bring in criminal defense counsel with experience handling criminal matters in New York. Shalley and Murray has been helping young people accused of crimes in New York for more than 25 years. If your child has been arrested and given a Family Court Appearance Ticket, you haven’t a moment to lose. Contact a criminal lawyer right away to do everything you can for your child.

Call or text us now at 718-268-2171.


Don Murray, above, is a founding partner at Shalley and Murray, and he has been representing young people accused of crimes in New York City for more than 25 years. He can help you and your child too.

Call or Text Now at 718-268-2171