In New York City, many people arrested for misdemeanors and “E” felonies are ordered to appear before the New York City Criminal Court and are given a desk appearance ticket (DAT). So many people given a DAT failed to show up for court that it was called a “disappearance ticket.”
“It was time for him to be released with a desk appearance ticket, known in many courtrooms as disappearance tickets” was printed in Newsday (Long Island, NY) on October 31, 1989.
Wikipedia: Desk appearance ticket
In New York City, a desk appearance ticket (DAT) is an order to appear in the New York City Criminal Court for an arraignment. A person who receives a DAT has been arrested. The DAT is simply one of two alternative means by which a person who is arrested appears for arraignment, or first appearance. A person who receives a DAT is permitted to appear in court on their own on the date indicated on the DAT document. A person who does not receive a DAT is processed through the arrest to arraignment system and is supposed to have their arraignment within 24 hours. From the point that the case is arraigned, a DAT case is like any other criminal case. DATs may be issued for violation, misdemeanors, and “E” felonies. If a person fails to return to court on the date indicated on the DAT, the Court will issue an arrest warrant.
The authority for a DAT is found in Criminal Procedure Law §150.10, which describes a DAT as “a written notice issued and subscribed by a police officer… directing a designated person to appear in a designated local criminal court at a designated future time in connection with his alleged commission of a designated offense.”
Beginning January 1, 2020, new rules imposed by the New York State Legislature as part of sweeping criminal justice reform in New York State have significantly changed Desk Appearance Ticket procedures. Chief among those changes is that the vast majority of misdemeanor and now many felony charges require the use of Desk Appearance Tickets.
31 October 1989, Newsday (Long Island, NY), “IN THE SUBWAYS Only Little People Pay Their Fares” by Jim Dwyer, pg. 6:
It was time for him to be released with a desk appearance ticket, known in many courtrooms as disappearance tickets.
20 February 1991, Newsday (Long Island, NY), “Long Arm of Law Was Faster, Cost Less, Says Brown” by Evelyn Hernandez, pg. 21:
Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau praised the improvements, but said he was concerned that desk appearance tickets have been given to career misdemeanor offenders, “who consistently fail to appear for their court dates. For them, a desk appearance ticket is a disappearance ticket, and the arrest is for naught.”
21 October 1991, Newsday (Long Island, NY), “Traffic Tickets: A True Violation” by Jim Dwyer, pg. 2:
This brings us to the question of vandalism. A person caught breaking a car window is brought to the police precinct and given a kind of summons officially known as a “desk appearance ticket,” unofficially as a"Disappearance Ticket.” Thieves almost never do time for this crime, since: 1) If they actually show up for court, they are thought to be great citizens and are sent home with a meaningless fine that will not be paid, and 2), If they don’t show up, which by the hundreds of thousands they do not, no one has any interest in catching them. Laws are not enforced against those who damage or take property in New York.
The Christian Science Monitor
New York Gives Criminals `Disappearance Tickets’
Jaywalkers and shoplifters escape punishment by flouting a novel citation system
November 15, 1993
By Ron Scherer Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
“IT’S is a good idea gone bad,” says Paul Shechtman, counsel to Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.
Mr. Shechtman is referring to a New York system designed to relieve the burden on the courts by giving shoplifters, subway fare beaters, and others accused of misdemeanors a ticket to report to a judge in three weeks instead of two nights in jail prior to arraignment.
The problem is that the ticket, called a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT), is widely ignored by criminals.
According to the New York Police Department, 46 percent of the offenders who receive DATs do not show up for their court date. Last year, New York gave out 64,153 DATs. Thus, individuals charged with 29,510 crimes did not bother to show up for court.
“On the street it’s known as the Disappearance Ticket,” says Tom Cusick, president of the Fifth Avenue Association, a business group that is concerned about crime. He adds that the system now “emboldens” criminals.
Fixing Broken Windows:
Restoring Order and Reducing Crime in Our Communities
By George L. Kelling and Catherine M. Coles
New York, NY: Martin Kessler Books
Consequently , officers were limited to giving squeegeers Desk Appearance Tickets (DATs) , known derisively by New York police as “Disappearance Tickets” because offenders generally failed to appear to pay their fines, and warrants for arrest that ...
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Desk appearance tickets are summonses to appear in court at some later dates. They’re used in place of custodial arrests for persons who’ve been charged for minor offenses (and have I.D.!) So many of them are simply ignored that they’re often called “disappearance tickets.”
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Two random thoughts from the NYTimes: So many suspects given desk appearance tickets never appear that NYcops refer to such tickets as “disappearance tickets.”
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Most of the misd. warrants are generated from DAT’s (Desk Appearence Tickets) or as we call “Disappearance Tickets”, and a photo is taken prior to the prisoner being released. This photo is attached to the doc
Rootless [But Very Stable] Cosmopolitan
Replying to =@greg_doucette
I love how our clients talk. A few NYC gems. “Arrangements” for “arraignments” and “disappearance ticket” for “desk appearance ticket” [police pre-trial release on a promise to appear]
9:48 AM · Sep 5, 2018·Twitter Web Client
Rootless [But Very Stable] Cosmopolitan
Replying to @BrianBuchbinder and @absurdistwords
And the unsecured promise to appear at court issued at police station moved from “Desk Appearance Ticket” to “Disappearance ticket”
3:23 PM · Sep 18, 2019·Twitter Web App
Replying to @HikindDov
A Desk apparent ticket Aka (Disappearance ticket) be out on the streets in two hours!!! Right @NYCMayor
What’s up? Why do blacks constantly attack Jews? Preached in church
3:30 PM · Jan 1, 2020·Twitter Web App
Replying to @JamesAGagliano
So in NYS unless it’s Murder 1st degree - you are released without bail and get a “disappearance ticket” it’s really a desk appearance ticket. Maybe with a FED charge she can’t go anywhere? Or maybe I’m an idealist
9:32 AM · May 31, 2020·Twitter for iPhone
New York City • Government/Law/Military/Religion /Health • Wednesday, July 15, 2020 • Permalink