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Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer for My DAT?


In New York State, the long arm of the law has gotten pretty creative at reaching out to potential offenders, especially in New York City where desk appearance tickets (DAT) are gaining in popularity. A DAT is an official order coming straight from the police department for you to show up in criminal court. But why would they want you to do that? Read the details of your DAT and you will find that they are accusing you of committing a criminal offense.

Don’t start to think that being accused of a crime is a small deal, either. When the accusation is coming off the desk of a law enforcement official, it is akin to being arrested. In some situations, if you receive a DAT, you can no longer claim that you have never been arrested on applications and other forms. With something so serious sent through the mail, should you do something to protect yourself from the potential consequences of this DAT?

Never Go Alone When You Can Go Together

The date listed on your desk appearance ticket will be your arraignment date, not a court date. In some ways, this is actually beneficial to you as you don’t have to wait around in a jail cell for an arraignment. In other ways, this is a complete headache as you might not even have any clue as to why they are accusing you of committing a crime in the first place.

Unknowing or not, you need to get a New York City criminal defense attorney on your side. At your arraignment scheduled through a DAT, you will be told your charges, enter your plea, and then granted a bail amount from the judge. All three of those steps can go sideways if you don’t know what is going on or what you should say in your defense, and the criminal justice system knows as much. The “convenience” of a DAT can quickly become a trap if you don’t take it as seriously as it is. A single misspeak can make you look guilty of a crime that you hadn’t even heard about until the arraignment.

If you have been given a DAT, you should contact our New York City criminal defense lawyers from Law Offices of Daniel A. Hochheiser as soon as possible. We have 24/7 availability, so do not hesitate to call 800.813.9069 whenever you first discover that the police have decided to arrest you without ever seeing you. We can even discuss your options during a free case evaluation.

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