The kind of criminal defense attorney Staten Island residents rely on is one who recognizes the differences between a summons, desk appearance, and a full blown arrest. While you never want to get involved in any tangles with the law, you can help yourself out by understanding what these three legal tools are and why you need a good Staten Island lawyer to help you out when you get one of these.
If a police officer sees you doing something you should not be doing and it is not a major felony, then that officer may give you a summons. With this document, you are instructed to report to a specific court on a specific date and time to discuss your legal issue. You might be able to relax a little when you realize that you do not stand in front of a judge for a summons and you are not arrested. Instead, you stand in front of a judicial hearings officer. However, that judicial hearings officer could still give you a fine or put a mark on your criminal record that would follow you for years. A summons is the least damaging of the calls to court, but you should still treat it with respect.
Desk Appearance Ticket
A desk appearance ticket (DAT) is something that an officer would issue for certain types of crimes after a person has been arrested. After you have been processed and all of the other arrangements have been made, the officer may choose to issue a DAT instead of making you stay in prison until your court date. After being held for a few hours, you are released with your DAT that gives you your court date and time.
The most common types of crimes DATs are used for are certain types of misdemeanors. An officer would not issue a DAT for a family court issue, or for a sex crime. Basically, a DAT allows you to be released from prison as you await your trial date.
Full Blown Arrest
A full blown arrest involves being processed, interrogated, and arraigned. This is the most intrusive and comprehensive form of arrest, and it usually means that you are going to either make bail or spend your time in prison until your court date. Nothing happens with your arrest until you are arraigned. This means that you stand before a judge and the judge decides if you get bail and how much it will be.
No matter what type of arrest you are handed, you should always have an experienced Staten Island lawyer on your side. You should never try to face the legal system alone, especially if you are involved in a full blown arrest where your freedom depends on what the judge says at arraignment.