In New York, for certain minor offenses, such as speeding, misdemeanor drug offenses or Leaving the Scene of an Accident the police (or other authorized public servant) can issue and serve a person an appearance ticket in lieu of arrest or, if they arrest the person, they can issue an appearance ticket to the person at the police station instead of putting the person through the system to see a judge. [See NY CPL Art. 150].
Typically an appearance ticket says “Appearance Ticket” or “Desk Appearance Ticket” across the top. The appearance ticket must be signed by the a police officer or other authorized public servant, it must name the defendant and direct him to appear in a designated court on certain date and time in connection with the alleged offense. [CPL 150.10(1)].
However, an appearance ticket, or desk appearance ticket, doesn’t have to conform to any particular form or style. So long as the document given to a person contains the information required of an appearance ticket and is properly signed, it can be an appearance ticket.
The most common type of appearance ticket is not even titled or called an appearance ticket. Almost everyone who drives has at one point received a ticket from a police officer. While not called an appearance ticket, the basic uniform traffic ticket or simplified traffic information is legally an appearance ticket. It contains all of the information required to be in an appearance ticket and is supposed to be signed by the officer. A speeding ticket for example, is usually issued in lieu of arrest, it tells the person what court they have to go to, what date and what time and the officer signs it. People v. Tyler, 1 N.Y.3d 493 (2004)(speeding ticket deemed an appearance ticket).
If you have been issued an appearance ticket for any offense, feel free to contact Tilem & Campbell toll free at 1-877-377-8666

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