The Arraignment Process
If you were issued a summons to appear for an arraignment in Criminal Court (in Manhattan at 346 Broadway, 120 Schemerhorn Street in Brooklyn, 120-55 Queens Blvd. in Queens, or in the Bronx at 215 East 161st St.), please use this website for some basic information and possible legal representation (you are not a client until you have spoken to an attorney and both parties have signed a retainer agreement). This website constitutes attorney advertising.
First- read the ticket and look for the Court date and location:
- for example: March 7, 346 Broadway, 9:30 am (Manhattan)
You can use the internet to confirm the date at nycourts.gov (without charge) by clicking here (iapps.courts.state.ny.us)
* If the date does not appear on the New York State Court System Web Site you are still required to appear.
Your in-person appearance is Mandatory!
You must physically appear in Court on the date indicated on the summons. If you do not appear, you will be considered in “default” and if the summons was issued to an individual, an arrest warrant will be issued.
If an arrest warrant is outstanding, and if the police pull your vehicle over for an alleged traffic violation or run your plates through a “plate scan” you will most likely be arrested and taken into custody.
An arrest due to a failure to appear can be extremely expensive and time consuming and is completely avoidable. You will also need an attorney to go to Court while you are incarcerated to file a motion asking the Court to vacate the default, or if that is not possible to go to Court and pay the outstanding fine.
I cannot appear on the date listed on the summons. What are my options?
You must take responsibility by either going to the Clerk’s office in person and informing them of the problem in advance of the Court date, or hire an attorney and discuss your options. Waiting until later or ignoring the problem is a catastrophic strategy. Try to obtain an adjournment without an attorney to save on the legal fee for the appearance.
Please note that you only have hired an attorney once there is an agreement that you will be represented, what the representation consists of, and what the cost of that representation will be. If you are uncertain, please ask as many questions as you need to clarify the situation.
If the summons was issued to a Corporation, the corporation must hire an attorney. If you appear in person on behalf of a corporation and you are the President or an employee, the Court will inform you that you must obtain private counsel and to appear on a future date. At this point, please note the date of the next Court appearance and immediately contact an attorney to represent the corporation. Make sure that the corporation and the attorney agree to work together and what the fees will be.
Proof of Repair
If you need to repair your vehicle, have it repaired within 24 hours and obtain proof to show to the Court. Make sure to make copies of paid receipts.