New York City is one of the best cities in the world to visit and it attracts tourists from all over the world. Unfortunately, a few of them are arrested every day at the New York City airports: LaGuardia and JFK (John F. Kennedy). Most of them receive Desk Appearance Tickets for misdemeanor offenses. These arrests typically involve generally law-abiding citizens accidentally carrying something in their luggage that is illegal in New York, such as a weapon (Penal Law Section 265.01) or a controlled substance (Penal Law Section 220.03). Sometimes, Port Authority Police also make arrests and give Desk Appearance Tickets for offenses at the airport like trespassing (Penal Law 140.10), shoplifting (Penal Law 155.25 or 165.40), public lewdness (Penal Law Section 245.00) or assault (Penal Law Section 120.00). These tickets typically direct the arrest person to appear in court about a month later at the Queens Criminal Courthouse located at 125-01 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens, New York.
Although the offenses may seem minor at first, these cases in fact present very real risks to the arrested persons: possible permanent and public criminal records, immigration consequences, prison time, loss of employment, and financial penalties, among others. For out-of-town tourists, they present an additional problem, though: appearing in court personally can be logistically very difficult, especially if the case involves multiple appearances. Traveling across the country (or across an ocean) means potentially missing time from work, school and/or family obligations, not to mention the expense of traveling.
Matthew Galluzzo has perfected a system of client affidavits that often permits him to appear – in certain cases – on behalf of out-of-town or foreign clients. Using these affidavits, he has frequently been able to appear without his clients and resolve cases favorably for those clients. He has helped dozens of New York visitors resolve misdemeanor cases without appearing personally in New York City for their court appearances. Not every case can be resolved this way, but many can.