In February 2014, actor Sam Worthington was issued a desk appearance ticket after he was arrested for assaulting a photographer.
Desk appearance tickets may sound like traffic tickets but they are not. They are far more serious. It is essentially an order issued to you by the police under NY Criminal Procedure Law §150.10 asking you to appear before a criminal court and respond to a criminal charge. It simply means that the police have charged you with a criminal offense and you must appear in a criminal court to defend yourself against that charge.
If you have been issued a desk appearance ticket, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Don’t wait until after your court appearance to speak to an attorney. The charge listed on your desk appearance ticket is not the final charge against you. During your court appearance you may be charged with additional offenses. If you have been issued a desk appearance ticket, it means that you have been arrested.
The police have the discretion to issue a desk appearance ticket if you have been charged with a crime. You may be issued a desk appearance ticket if you have been charged with a violation or a misdemeanor offense such as:
• Disorderly conduct
• Shop lifting
• Possession of drugs or other controlled substance including Marijuana
• Theft of services
• Possession of a switchblade knife, gravity knife or other similar weapon
Those charged with Class E felonies such as grand larceny shoplifting and property damage may also be issued a desk appearance ticket.
This DOES NOT mean that you will be issued with a desk appearance ticket if you have been charged with similar crimes.
If the police decide to issue you a desk appearance ticket, you will be taken to the precinct, minimally processed and released. You must then appear in court on the date listed on your ticket.
No one is entitled to a desk appearance ticket as a matter of right. The police may after considering your case determine whether or not to release you after issuing a desk appearance ticket. The police have their own internal guidelines and these guidelines change from time to time. You are unlikely to be issued a desk appearance ticket if:
• you have a criminal record
• you have been charged with domestic violence
• you reside outside New York City
• you are unable to provide sufficient identification at the time of your arrest
If you receive a call from the police asking you to visit the precinct because they want to issue a desk appearance ticket, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. It may be a trap to lure you to the precinct to arrest you.
Failure to Attend
You should appear in court on the date specified on your desk appearance ticket. If you don’t the court will issue a summons against you. In some cases, the court may issue an arrest warrant. By not appearing in court, you will be making a bad situation worse. An experienced criminal defense attorney can fight the charges against you and get them dropped.