Can You Change a DAT Appearance Date?

23 Jan Can You Change a DAT Appearance Date?

When you receive a desk appearance ticket, it already contains the date and time you’re supposed to show up in court. Naturally, it’s never a good time. You have to work, you don’t have childcare, or your family is in town visiting.

In the worst-case scenarios, you work for the Board of Education, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, or another agency that won’t let you come to work while you have an outstanding DAT. Maybe you’re headed off to college or you’re joining the Army, and there’s no way you’ll make it to court on your DAT appearance date.

Of course you want to change it. Nearly everyone does.

So can you change your DAT appearance date? And if you can, how do you go about it?

Can You Change a DAT Date?

In short, you can’t change your desk appearance ticket date. Here’s how it breaks down:

  1. The arresting officer gives you a desk appearance ticket. He pulls the next one out of the pile and hands it over without asking when you’d like to appear in court. (Don’t get upset about this; remember, he thinks you’re a criminal at this point.)
  2. You leave, DAT in hand, and realize that the date doesn’t work for you.
  3. You return and ask the officer if you can have a new date.
  4. He says, “No.” He might say, “Go to court and ask them to change it.”

You might have high hopes that you’ll get a new date and that everything will be just fine—but the reality is that getting a DAT appearance date changed is much more complicated than going to court and asking them to take care of it.

The courts usually don’t even know what DATs are coming up; in most cases, they won’t know until the day prior, if even then.

That means the court can’t change it.

How to Change a DAT Appearance Date

Most people find that it’s best to work with a lawyer on changing their DAT appearance date because it requires a conversation (or two or three) with the District Attorney. The DA may or may not approve of changing your date, but he or she is the only person who can.

Remember, too, that changing your DAT appearance date creates extra work for the DA’s office by requiring them to prepare a court-ready file ahead of schedule, which can affect whether it will be approved. In most cases, working with your own attorney gives you the best shot at changing your DAT date.