Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT)

A Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT) is a written notice requiring a defendant to appear in court on a future date for arraignment. A defendant who is given a DAT is held for a few hours at the police precinct and fingerprinted to check for any outstanding warrants. If no warrants are found the defendant is released from the precinct and ordered to appear in court on a particular date.

A DAT may only be issued for certain minor offenses where the defendant has valid identification. Moreover, the decision to give a defendant a DAT and release him, rather than hold and process him through Central Booking, is entirely within the arresting officer's discretion.

An defendant issued an appearance ticket may be released without bail, or the desk officer in charge at the police station may require payment of pre-arraignment bail.