Many New Yorkers and others have been arrested and received what is known as a desk appearance ticket. An example of such a ticket is below.
Desk appearance tickets may be issued in cases involving minor violation or misdemeanor matters, and are often given to people who are arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana in New York City. These desk appearance tickets may never be issued in connection with a class A, B, C, or D felony arrest but with a few exceptions, can be issued to any misdemeanor or violation arrestee. It is usually (if not always) the case in New York City that the police will not issue a desk appearance ticket to a person with a prior criminal record.
The desk appearance ticket will require the defendant to appear on a certain date to answer for the charge set forth on the face of the ticket. Once the defendant arrives in court, a criminal prosecution of him or her will begin in the same fashion as if he or she had been arrested the day of or the day before the return date. This may involve the defendant being arraigned on a violation or misdemeanor complaint or information. There is no guarantee, however, that the charge listed on the desk appearance ticket will be identical to the one found on the complaint. In fact, the prosecutor may review the facts of the case with the police officers and other witnesses and decide to proceed with different, additional, or even more serious charges. If you have been arrested and given a desk appearance ticket, you should consult with criminal attorneys who routinely handle desk appearance ticket matters before arriving in court on the date specified on the ticket.