Sat 08 Jul, 2023 Criminal Defense

How to Get a Desk Appearance Ticket Dismissed

Do you want to get your Desk Appearance Ticket dismissed?

If you received a Desk Appearance Ticket (also known as a DAT), you probably have never been arrested before.

Although Desk Appearance Tickets usually allege criminal offenses—which could result in a permanent criminal record—an experienced criminal lawyer may be able to get your Desk Appearance Ticket dismissed.

This article discusses Desk Appearance Tickets and the ways your lawyer may be able to get it dismissed.

What is a Desk Appearance Ticket?

First off, what exactly is a Desk Appearance Ticket?

A Desk Appearance Ticket is a slip of paper given by the police after you have been arrested for a crime. It’s different than a summons or “pink slip,” which charge very petty non-criminal offenses, like riding a bike with headphones or drinking in public. Instead, a Desk Appearance Ticket typically charges you with a criminal offense, but the crime is not so serious that you must be held in on bail.

Most likely, you were arrested, brought to the local police precinct, and then given the Desk Appearance Ticket by your arresting officer. Typically, a DAT orders you to personally appear in court in several weeks after your arrest.

Nobody ever wants to ever receive a Desk Appearance Ticket. However, the silver lining is that, in the scheme of things, Desk Appearance Tickets are only issued in relatively minor cases.

In other words, if you were charged with a very serious crime, the police would process you through Central Booking. You would then be brought in front of the judge, who could potentially set bail, depending on your charges.

So, although Desk Appearance Tickets are aggravating to receive, chances are you will never spend another second behind bars for the case. The real fight will be how soon you can get the charges reduced or completely dismissed.

If you received a Desk Appearance Ticket, contact an experienced criminal lawyer who can work on getting your charges dropped as soon as possible.

Getting Your Charges Dismissed at Your First Court Appearance

At your first court appearance, your case may get completely dismissed for two reasons.

First, the prosecution may decide to not prosecute the case. The prosecution will not prosecute a case if they determine the evidence is not enough to prove that a crime was committed.

That said, the prosecution is typically unwilling to not prosecute a person after the police arrested someone for a crime. When the prosecution decides not to prosecute a case, it makes it clear that the police probably arrested a person without probable cause, which could make the arrestee more likely to sue the police.

Instead, what the prosecution typically does with a flimsy Desk Appearance Ticket is initiate a prosecution but then offer an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (known as an ACD).

An ACD is the second way that your Desk Appearance Ticket could be dismissed at your first court appearance. With an ACD, your case is automatically dismissed and sealed in 6 months, so long as you don’t get rearrested. With an ACD, the prosecution isn’t conceding that you are innocent, but they implicitly acknowledge that your case isn’t worth their time to pursue.

Even if you are guilty, the prosecution may still offer an ACD at your first court appearance, especially if the facts of your case are not too serious and you do not have a criminal record. The prosecution may condition the ACD on you completing some community service or some other short counseling session.

If the police gave you a Desk Appearance Ticket, contact a criminal lawyer. Your lawyer can speak with you about your case before your first court appearance. At that appearance, your lawyer can speak with the prosecution in effort to get a dismissal at your first court appearance.

How to Get a Desk Appearance Ticket Dismissed After Your First Court Appearance

The prosecution does not always agree to drop your charges at your first court appearance. Sometimes, the prosecution believes it has a strong case against you. Other times, the alleged victim has told the prosecution they want you prosecuted to fullest extent of the law.

Importantly, the prosecutor handling your case at your first appearance is likely not the prosecutor who will be assigned to your case. The prosecutor at your first court appearance typically handles dozens of new cases that day. Consequently, they do not have much time to speak with your lawyer about your case, and they might not take the time to review evidence your attorney may provide.

If your Desk Appearance Ticket is not dismissed at your first court appearance, after that first court date your case will be assigned to a specific prosecutor. After the first court appearance, your lawyer can have extensive conversations with the prosecutor and present any relevant evidence in effort to convince the prosecution to drop the charges.

Typically, the prosecution will eventually reduce your charges if they weren’t already dropped at your first court appearance.

Sometimes the prosecution is stubborn and won’t offer to reduce your charges. An experienced criminal lawyer can help you strategically navigate the system in effort to get you the best possible outcome. A lawyer can sit down with you to discuss your options so that you can make informed decisions about whether to accept a plea offer or take the case to trial.

Need Help? Contact Cody Warner, P.C. Today

If you have an upcoming court appearance for a Desk Appearance Ticket, contact experienced criminal lawyer Cody Warner. He can assess you case and develop the right strategy in effort to get your Desk Appearance Ticket dismissed.