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APPEARANCE TICKETS IN NEW YORK: POLICE CAN REQUIRE BAIL BEFORE THEY RELEASE SOMEONE ON AN APPEARANCE TICKET [CPL 150.30(1)]

In New York, where a police officer has arrested a person but has decided to issue that person an appearance ticket instead of bringing that person before a judge, the arrested person may be required to post pre-arraignment bail. The bail is forfeited if the person fails to appear as instructed in the appearance ticket. [CPL 150.30(1)].

Pre-arraignment bail (sometimes referred to as “stationhouse” bail) is fixed by the desk officer in charge at any police station/headquarters or the county jail or any of the desk officer’s superior officers as follows:
• For an E felony – up to $750.00;
• For an A misdemeanor – up to $500.00;
• For a B misdemeanor – up to $250.00;
• For a petty offense – up to $100.00
See CPL 150.30(2)

New York Police Agencies May Have A Policy Requiring Formal Arrest And The Posting
Of Bail Prior to Issuing Appearance Ticket Where Defendant Does Not Have Identification
A police officer can issue an appearance ticket to a person without formally arresting that person. For example, an officer who stops a person for the unclassified misdemeanor of reckless driving (VTL 1212) can issue that person an appearance ticket at the scene just as if the person was stopped for speeding or some other offense. In such a situation the person avoids an arrest record; is not handcuffed and transported to the police station; he is not printed or photographed and his car is not impounded.

However, the police officer has the discretion to formally arrest the person, impound his car, transport him to the police station, print and photograph him (if required), require the posting of bail and then issue the defendant an appearance ticket in connection with the reckless driving charge.

If the person does not have identification, some police agencies have policies in place that require the police officer to arrest that person, transport him to police headquarters, process him and require him to post bail even though the law does not require the posting of bail in such circumstances. See e.g. People v. Taylor, 294 A.D.2d 825 (4th Dept. 2002)(describing City of Hornell Police Department’s policy of arresting defendants to obtain pre-arraignment bail before issuing defendant an appearance ticket).
Pre-Arraignment Bail – Payment By Credit Card [CPL 150.30(4)]

The Chief Administrator of the courts in New York is required to develop a system for the posting of pre-arraignment bail on appearance tickets by credit card. [NY Jud. Law 212; CPL 150.30(4)]. However, police departments in New York are not required to participate in the system developed by the Chief Administrator for the payment of pre-arraignment bail by credit card; it is optional. [CPL 150.30(4)]. If you need to post pre-arraignment bail on an appearance ticket and you don’t have the required cash, you should ask if the particular police agency that has arrested you accepts credit cards for the posting of pre-arraignment bail.

For more information, feel free to contact Tilem & Campbell toll free at 1-877-377-8666 or visit us on the web at www.tilemandcampbell.com. More detailed information can be found in our book “Appearance Tickets in New York” available at Amazon.com.