Articles Posted in Desk Appearance Tickets

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A majority of our clients are booked, processed and “put through the system,” meaning they are brought to central booking shortly after arrest and then brought out before a Judge for an arraignment on the charges. Usually, this arraignment occurs within roughly 24 hours of the arrest. Other clients are issued Desk Appearance Tickets (“D.A.T.’s”) or summonses which command them to return to Court on a future date.

In Manhattan, specifically, most arrestees are brought downtown to the 100 Centre Street Courthouse to face charges. However a smaller number of defendants are directed to appear in Manhattan’s Midtown Community Court which is located at 314 West 54th Street in Manhattan. In this blog, we cover some of the Midtown Community Court basics to shed light on what should be expected for those who find themselves in the unfortunate predicament of having to fight a charge or charges there.

Midtown Community Court was launched in 1993 with the primary objective of dealing with quality-of-life offenses, so most of the cases involve misdemeanors and/or violations. Examples of some of the common charges you are likely to face in Midtown Community Court include:

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Earlier this month, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., announced three new policies to further streamline the criminal justice system and reduce the backlog of cases in New York County’s Criminal Courts. As of February 1, 2018, the Manhattan DA’s Office began declining to prosecute, with certain exceptions, all New York City subway farebeat (“turnstile jump”) and unlicensed general vendor cases. That same date, the Manhattan DA’s office instituted a sweeping desk appearance ticket policy in which first-arrestees who are issued tickets for low-level, non-violent misdemeanor charges are given the option of attending a two to four-hour “pre-arraignment diversion program” in lieu of being formally prosecuted in a court of law. Upon proof of program completion, the Manhattan DA’s Office promises to then decline to prosecute entirely – meaning, no formal charges will be brought. Only those who opt out of the program (or otherwise fail to complete it) will be directed to appear in court to face prosecution. Simply put – first arrestees for low-level offenses will now have the option of going to class instead of court.

While this new policy would appear to be a noble effort on the part of the Manhattan District Attorney to benefit all, this new first-arrest policy will have an unintended but disastrous effect on arrestees who (a) work for FDIC-insured banks or intend to do so in the future, and (b) are charged with petit larceny (or any theft-related offense). Whereas our lawyers normally strive to secure adjournments in contemplation of dismissal (“ACD”) for first-arrestee clients charged with low-level theft-related offenses, these delayed dismissals can have a disastrous effect on current or prospective employees of FDIC-insured institutions.

As we have explained carefully in a previous blog, Section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act prohibits, without the prior written consent of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, a person convicted of a criminal offense involving dishonesty, breach of trust, money laundering,

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Muchos neoyorquinos y otros han sido arrestados y recibieron lo que se conoce como Desk appearance ticket. Un ejemplo de tal ticket se encuentra a continuación.

Desk Appearance Tickets pueden ser emitidos en casos que involucren asuntos de violaciones menores o delitos menores, y se dan a menudo a las personas que son arrestadas por poseer pequeñas cantidades de marihuana en la ciudad de Nueva York. Estos Desk Appearance Tickets pueden no ser emitidos en conexión con un arresto de clase A, B, C o D, pero con pocas excepciones, pueden ser emitidos por cualquier delito menor o violación. Por lo general (si no siempre) es el caso en la ciudad de Nueva York, que la policía no emitirá un Desk Appearance Ticket a una persona con antecedentes penales anteriores.

El Desk appearance ticket requerirá que el acusado aparezca en una cierta fecha para responder por el cargo establecido en el ticket. Una vez que el acusado llegue al tribunal, un procesamiento criminal de él o ella comenzará de la misma manera que si él o ella hubiera sido detenido ese día o el día antes de la fecha de ingreso. Esto puede implicar que el demandado sea acusado de una infracción o delito menor. No hay garantía, sin embargo, de que el cargo que aparece en el Desk Appearance Ticket sea idéntico al que se encuentra en la denuncia. De hecho, el fiscal puede revisar los hechos del caso con los agentes de policía y otros testigos y decidir proceder con cargos diferentes, adicionales o incluso más graves. Si usted ha sido detenido y le han dado un Desk Appearance Ticket, usted debe consultar con abogados penales que habitualmente manejan los asuntos de Desk appearance tickets antes de llegar a la corte en la fecha especificada en el ticket.

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An F1 visa is a non-immigrant visa granted to people abroad who wish to enter the United States in order to attend academic institutions, training programs, or conservatories. As is the case with any non-citizen, an arrest and conviction for even the most petty offense can trigger serious consequences for an F1 visa holder, including revocation of the visa itself. While the stakes in every criminal case are high, things become even more complicated with F1 visa defendants. To be sure, a criminal attorney needs to be especially diligent when representing any non-citizen facing criminal prosecution for the simple reason that a drastic change in immigration status can potentially accompany any period of incarceration, probation, or even non-jail. As the lawyers at Galluzzo & Arnone have always urged, it is of utmost importance for non-citizens who are arrested to secure experienced counsel as early as possible in the case, and especially before any plea bargan is entrered into. Crafting pleas with an eye towards preserving citizenship/visa status is a delicate and nuanced process, which is why F1 Visa holders require experienced counsel to avoid all of the potential pitfalls.

Our lawyers have a great track record of representing F1 visa holders who are arrested in New York for charges including Petit Larceny, Assault, DWI, Theft of Service, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, Marijuana possession, Weapons possession and more. One of the advantages F1 visa holders do have is that they often have minimal criminal justice contacts, if any, as well as solid resumes since they have been granted access to attend one of New York’s many fine academic institutions (many of our clients have attended Columbia or New York University, to name a couple). As former prosecutors, we are able to marshall our clients’ strengths and put together an effective and targeted strategy in each case in order to secure the best possible outcome. Our goal is always to leave our clients’ records intact, as well as ensure that they are able to preserve their visas and continue their studies here with minimal distraction. Our lawyers have also secured countless dismissals in such cases, which provides the best outlook for any non-citizen facing criminal prosecution.

If you or a loved one are studying here in the US on an F1 visa and have been arrested and charged with a crime or violation offense, do not hesitate to contact our team of experienced criminal defense lawyers at Galluzzo & Arnone as soon as possible so as to avoid any negative consequences.

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O-1 visas are granted to individuals who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics (O-1A), as well as those with a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry, and who have been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements (O-1B). O-2 visas are granted to those who accompany O-1’s for the purpose of assisting them in a specific event or performance. USCIC requires an O-2 play an “integral” role in the assistance of an O-1A’a activity, or provide “essential” assistance to the completion of an O-1B’s production. O-3 visas are granted to spouses or children of O-1 and O-2 holders. All three types of visas are usually granted for a period of up to three years, after which they may be extended in one-year increments, without limitation.

As in the case of any non-citizen, the stakes are higher for O-1, O-2 and O-3 visa holders who are arrested because they face the risk of visa revocation on top of any sentence which is authorized for the crime they’ve been arrested for. For this reason, our lawyers are extraordinarily diligent in their representation of visa holders (as well as non-citizens in general), where a great deal of effort must be placed on crafting dispositions with an eye towards preserving our clients' immigration status. In addition to being accomplished trial litigators, our attorneys are also top-notch negotiators who have secured many dismissals and non-criminal dispositions for our clients. Specifically, the attorneys at Galluzzo & Arnone have represented countless visa-holders with an impeccable record of success. For all of these reasons, it is imperative for any non-citizen who has been arrested (even given a Desk Appearance Ticket) to contact us as early in the process as possible. Even those charged with seemingly “minor” misdemeanors need to be diligent, for example, those charged with: Theft of Services (PL 165.15), Petit Larceny (PL 155.25), Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree (PL 220.03), Criminal Mischief (PL 145.00), Unlawful Possession of Marijuana (PL 221.10), Assault in the Third Degree (PL 120.00), and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree (PL 265.01).

Keep in mind, U.S. visa posts routinely perform criminal background checks on visa applicants, which can lead to devastating consequences for those who don't navigate the system properly, including, but not limited to, initiation of removal proceedings. For a myriad of reasons, it is critical for any O-1, O-2 or O-3 visa holder to contact an experienced attorney who understands the delicate nuances and immigration consequences posed in each of these cases. To be sure, the lawyers at Galluzzo & Arnone have successfully represented O-1 visa holder with great success. If you or a loved are faced with a criminal prosecution, contact our attorneys without delay.

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New York City owes much of its energy and excellence to the foreign citizens living and working here. Unfortunately, a visa or green card holder's right to remain in the United States can be seriously jeopardized by a Desk Appearance Ticket, even when the charges are comparatively minor misdemeanors. Many visa holders fail to take these arrests sufficiently seriously because the charges seem minor (like marijuana or subway fare theft) or because the arresting officer tells them "it's no big deal." Truthfully, though, career, educational, and family plans can be completely devastated by even a minor case of walking through the subway gate without paying, so it is absolutely critical that a foreign person arrested and issued a Desk Appearance Ticket retain competent counsel immediately.

In many ways, a Desk Appearance Ticket does not feel like such a big deal. The arrested person is usually handcuffed and taken to a police station where they are fingerprinted. They typically wait a few hours in a holding cell until they are given a piece of paper telling them the date and location of their appearance in court. Before Desk Appearance Tickets became routine, criminal defendants could expect to get "sent downtown" and spend the night in jail before seeing a judge. Obviously, Desk Appearance Tickets are preferable for criminal defendants because they spend less time in custody and also have the opportunity to choose counsel for themselves prior to going to court.

Make no mistake, however: the issuance of a Desk Appearance Ticket is in fact an arrest – it is not "just a ticket". More importantly for visa holders, this event is not going to "fly under the radar" with the immigration agencies. If you were arrested and given a Desk Appearance Ticket, your fingerprints and the arrest charges have been sent to a New York state agency (the Division of Criminal Justice Services) and to the FBI, which maintains a federal nationwide law enforcement database of all arrest events across the United States (the Interstate Identification Index). Visa and green card holders should understand that the immigration agencies, in processing visa renewal requests, access this database to investigate whether the visa applicant has an arrest record. Indeed, some visa holders actually receive emails from Department of Homeland Security (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) agents after their arrests, because the agency was notified of the arrest via the fingerprint database.

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Woodbury Commons Desk Appearance Ticket for Shoplifting (Penal Law Section 155.25)

Woodbury Commons is a popular outlet mall and shopping destination for tourists and locals alike. The designer clothing and other luxury items on sale there make it an easy place for shoppers to give in to temptation. Unfortunately, many of those people make the mistake of attempting to steal items, and suddenly find themselves confronted by the frightening prospect of a criminal prosecution.

People without criminal records caught shoplifting at a store at Woodbury Commons most typically receive Desk Appearance Tickets directing them to appear in the court at the Woodbury Justice Court which is located on 511 NY-32, Highland Mills, New York, on a later date. Shoplifters are usually caught by store security and then held until the police can arrive to effectuate an arrest. While waiting for police to arrive, store security guards might question a shoplifter or search through their purse or pockets. Many people complain that these searches and interrogations violate their constitutional rights, but the U.S. Constitution actually does not protect you from searches by private store security guards – it only protects you from law enforcement officers – and a store security guard does not have to read you your Miranda rights, either. So if store security finds other stolen items or contraband such as drugs on the person of a shoplifter, that could also result in additional criminal charges. Moreover, if you confess to stealing to a store security guard, or sign a document admitting what you have done, that document can be used against you by police and the government in a later criminal proceeding.

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H1B visas (allowing foreign citizens with highly specialized expertise in the areas of math, science and engineering, among others, to live and work in the United States) are highly sought after and not easy to get due to the limit – or “cap” – on the number of such visas granted each year. There are many highly-qualified professionals working in New York thanks to the H1B visa program, and they are welcome additions and assets to the community.

Unfortunately, even a minor arrest can derail an application or renewal for an H1B visa. The attorneys at Galluzzo & Arnone have represented many individuals with H1B visas who have received Desk Appearance Tickets for misdemeanor arrests, including, among other things: Theft of Services (PL 165.15), Petit Larceny (PL 155.25), Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree (PL 220.03), Criminal Mischief (PL 145.00), Unlawful Possession of Marijuana (PL 221.10), and Assault in the Third Degree (PL 120.00). Some of these cases are oftentimes resolved with adjournments in contemplation of dismissal (“ACDs”) that would generally be considered to be favorable dispositions. However, ACDs typically involve six month waiting periods before the cases are dismissed, and any people who need to apply for or renew their H1B visas during that six month period are precluded from doing so (and thus unable to remain in the United States at their chosen and hard-earned job). Put plainly, an H1B visa will not be renewed if a criminal case is pending or if the ACD waiting period is still outsanding. This effect has also been noted in the context of other visa applications, such as F1 and J1 visas.

While these are generally not considered the most serious of cases, for visa holders, even these comparatively minor criminal cases can impact your life, career and renewal applications in a number of other ways. For example, convictions for these crimes can result in job loss, permanent criminal records, deportation or inadmissibility, fines, and potentially even jail time. A criminal case should never be taken lightly, but foreign citizens with visas need to be even more mindful of the consequences of an arrest.

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Arrests for shoplifting are incredibly common in New York City, and many of those individuals arrested for shoplifting are being arrested for the first time. Though arresting police officers typically assure people that the arrests are trivial and will not have any lasting consequences, the truth is that these cases need to be handled carefully because even seemingly small cases like these can have tremendous negative implications for hardworking people.

Most people arrested for shoplifting are held by store security guards until police arrive. During that time, store security guards typically force or trick the people they've detained to sign written confessions (by promising not to call the police if they sign) and trespass notices acknowledging that they are no longer allowed to shop at the store. Store security guards do not have to read people their Miranda rights because they are not police officers, but anything said to them can and will be used against them in courts of law.

Police officers then take these detained people to the local precinct, where the arrest process begins. Fingerprints are taken and paperwork is completed while the arrestees typically wait in a cell for about three to four hours. Then, the alleged shoplifter is usually given a Desk Appearance Ticket, which looks like this, which directs the shoplifter to appear in court at a later date. Failure to appear in court on that date results in a warrant being ordered for that person's arrest.