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Summonses and Desk Appearance Tickets

What Is a Summons?

New York City police have a great deal of discretion for handling a wide variety of minor criminal offenses and so-called “quality of life” charges. These can range from beating a subway fare to open container violations or possession of a small amount of marijuana.

Although you run the risk of arrest for any number of these offenses, you’re more likely to be given a court summons or desk appearance ticket, provided you haven’t made a bad situation worse by resisting or offending the officer. A court summons is the less serious of these approaches, and basically requires you to pay a fine or show up in court in three months.

What Is a Desk Appearance Ticket?

Somewhat more serious is a desk appearance ticket, which requires an appearance within 30 days. To learn about the full range of your options for clearing up either of these matters, get the advice of an experienced defense lawyer at The Law Office of Matthew Galluzzo in Manhattan.

If you pay the fine, you’re pleading guilty to the offense charged, which can have continuing consequences for you for years to come. If you don’t pay the fine or appear on either a court summons or desk appearance ticket, you risk escalation of the original charge and issuance of a bench warrant.

At The Law Office of Matthew Galluzzo, our attorneys know how to read between the lines in both kinds of citations. Sometimes, we find mistakes on the part of the police officer to support a motion for dismissal based on a failure to state the basic facts necessary to convict on the offense charged. Even if the court summons or desk appearance ticket was issued in the proper form, we can often resolve the charge on terms that will protect your record.

Examples of the kinds of cases most frequently charged on a summons or ticket include:

  • Marijuana possession
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Visiting or loitering in city parks after dark
  • Riding a bicycle on the sidewalk
  • Public urination
  • Underage drinking
  • Open container of alcohol
  • Knives in public view or with blades longer than 4 inches

The best approach to the resolution of any particular court summons or desk appearance ticket will depend on the specific facts of the case and your interest in avoiding the continuing consequences of a guilty plea. To learn more about our law firm’s approach to these cases, contact The Law Office of Matthew Galluzzo in Manhattan.

Marijuana Cases

Please see our blog for more information about the marijuana desk appearance ticket.

The Law Office of Matthew Galluzzo has a superb record of obtaining dismissals of our clients’ marijuana cases.

Client Reviews

I found myself in such a dark place thinking only God could understand and help me through this horrible situation. But Matthew Galluzzo did. And he did so in a very kind, compassionate and respectful manner. Enough said.


Matthew Galluzzo saved the day when the unthinkable happened. Every phone call was returned within minutes. All email correspondences were replied to expeditiously. Matt handled our case as if it was a member of his own family in the courtroom. Despite all the obstacles along the way, Matt's legal...


In less than an hour of assessing my case, Mr. Galluzzo had a clear direction and evoked a confident demeanor that was infectious. During the course of several court appearances he was always prepared, and took more than a personal interest when errors in court procedure occurred. Mr. Galluzzo...


We hired Matt when my son was arrested on several very serious felony charges. Matt is not only very knowledgeable about the law, he genuinely cares about his clients. He was patient and professional, inside the courtroom and out, in what turned out to be a very long process. He worked closely with...


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