Pink Summons Cases in New York City, including Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Bronx
If you have received a summons (ticket, usually a pink piece of paper) to appear in criminal court in Queens County, Brooklyn, Manhattan, or Bronx Counties, (usually called Part AR2) you may be tempted to assume that you do not need the advice of a qualified criminal defense attorney. Many people assume that since they were given a ticket that looks something like a traffic ticket, that it is more of a nuisance than anything else.
More than Just a Nuisance
It would be a mistake to assume that a summons is necessarily nothing more than a nuisance.
In some cases, the offenses charged are actually misdemeanors. That means that an unwise resolution on your own without the aid of a lawyer could end up saddling you with a criminal record.
People often mistakenly believe that they can simply take care of the "ticket" by "paying a fine". There is no such thing as "just paying a fine". If you pay a fine, that means that you plead guilty to something.
Although rare, there are situations in which seemingly trivial pink summons have caused people who attempted to do it themselves untold grief. In one case a person received a "ticket" for what he thought was "minor" marijuana possession in public in 1991. He appeared in AR2 without a lawyer because it was "just a ticket". Without a lawyer he had no clue the level of offense he was charged with, his options, and the alternatives available to him. The judge offered him a chance to plead guilty to the ticket and pay a $25 fine. That sounded good to him, so he agreed.
What he didn't quite realize was that he had just plead guilty to a B misdemeanor and he now had a criminal conviction. Because he didn't have an experienced criminal defense attorney, he also didn't realize that the "deal" offered to him by the judge was extremely inconsistent with what would be offered nearly any other person accused of the same offense.
Many people in his situation receive what is called an ACD (Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal) for such offenses. With an ACD, the case is completely dismissed after one year without a plea of guilt. If he had been put through the system instead of given a ticket, he would have had an attorney and almost certainly received that ACD. Nine years later, he called our office when this conviction was possibly going to stand in his way of a good promotion in the military. It would have been far easier, and far less expensive to hire an attorney back in 1991 than to hire us now to try to use the very few options left to try to fix the problem.
Also, if you are not a United States Citizen, you should be careful about any interaction you have with the criminal justice system, even one that may be as minor as a summons matter. If you are not a United States Citizen it is imperative that you speak with a lawyer before resolving your case. Your ability to become a citizen, if that is your wish, or your ability to remain in this country (or both) may be compromised depending on the outcome of your case.
Call 718-268-2171 for a free consultation with a criminal defense lawyer from Shalley & Murray.
James Shalley, founding partner at Shalley and Murray has helped many people in the Summons Courts of NYC Criminal Courts in 27 years of exclusively practicing criminal defense. He can help you too. Call or text now for your free consultation.