A Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT) is a criminal court summons and approximately 50,000 are handed out each year. Though it’s commonly called a ticket, the consequences of missing a DAT are far greater than missing a parking or traffic ticket. For many people who receive DATs, it’s their first time interacting with the criminal justice system and the process can be scary and confusing. This booklet was designed to help citizens understand what to do after receiving a DAT.

CUP collaborated with The Bronx Defenders and Youth Represent, two organizations with expertise in the criminal justice field, and designers WeShouldDoItAll to create an easy to read booklet that advises individuals who receive a DAT on the proper steps they need to take before going to Criminal Court.

Understanding the difference between a DAT and other tickets can save you from civil consequences like issues with your employment or immigration status. In addition to defining what a DAT is, this booklet also offers advice on how to prepare for your appearance and the potential outcomes of your case.

A Spanish translation of this project is available here.

Resources & Links

The Bronx Defenders provides innovative, holistic, and client-centered criminal defense,
family defense, civil legal, and social support services to indigent people in the Bronx.

Youth Represent is dedicated to ensuring that young people affected by the criminal justice system are afforded every opportunity to reclaim lives of dignity, self-fulfillment, and engagement in their communities.

WeShouldDoItAll is a contemporary design studio that translates clients’ needs into dynamic, visual systems that can be presented at multiple scales. These solutions take the form of branding, spatial, environmental, interactive, or print projects. WSDIA has been nationally and internationally recognized through various awards and publications.

Funding Support

Support for this project was provided in part by an award from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and New York State Council on the Arts. More Art For More People.

Special Thanks

Christine Gaspar, Ingrid Haftel, Robyn Mar, Craig Levine, Runa Rajagopal, Scott Levy,
Kate Rubin, Laurie Parise, Charles Nuñez, Michael Pope, Nick Johnson


  • CUP
  • Oscar Nuñez
  • The Bronx Defenders
  • Advocacy Partners
  • Matt Diaz
    Tom Peterson

  • Youth Represent
  • Advocacy Partners
    Eric Eingold
    Saskia Valencia

  • WeShouldDoItAll
  • Designers
  • Jonathan Jackson
    Sarah Nelson Jackson