What is a NY ACD or ACOD?

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You may be wondering what a NY ACD is if you have spent any time in New York Criminal Court. In simple terms, an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (commonly called “ACD” or “ACOD”), is the winning lottery ticket of a resolution for a criminal matter. Ultimately, if you stay out of trouble for a specified period of time, usually 6 or 12 months, your case will be dismissed and sealed.

What is a NY ACD?

Under New York Criminal Procedure Law Section 170.55, a New York Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal is an adjournment of the case to a future date, on which the case will be dismissed, unless the prosecutor moves to reopen the matter beforehand.

In order for someone to receive an ACD, the prosecution and the defense both have to agree to adjourn the matter in contemplation of dismissal. If the prosecutor does not move to reopen the matter at the expiration of that time period, then the Court will dismiss it in furtherance of justice.

Importantly, you do not have to come to court at the end of the ACD period to receive a dismissal, the Court will do it automatically in your absence. However, if you have to complete community service or a program, the Court may ask you to come to court to show proof of compliance.

What terms come with a NY ACD?

The most important condition is no new arrests. Or as the judges put it “staying out of trouble.” Additionally, there may be other conditions as part of your plea. Commonly they are:

Order of Protection

As part of the ACD, you may need to abide by an order of protection, which requires you to stay away from and not to have any contact with the complainant or eyewitnesses.

Participation in an Educational Program

In cases where the complaint charges crimes or violations between spouses, or between a parent and a child or between members of the same household (as defined in CPL Section 530.11), the Court may require participation in educational program to address the issues of spousal abuse and family violence.

Participation in Mediation or Dispute Resolution

Cases that do not necessarily need to be resolved through the criminal justice system, such as landlord calling the police on the tenant, or neighbors getting into a dispute over the garbage, may be resolved through mediation or dispute resolution. For example, in Kings County Criminal Court, cases that are referred to mediation are handled by the New York Peace Institute. Participation in mediation or dispute resolution program may be a condition of ACD.

Community Service

Another condition of an ACD may be the completion of community service. this community service must be performed for a public, or not-for-profit corporation, institution or agency. The defense has to agree to the number of days or hours of community service that the client has to complete. Without Defense’s consent, community service cannot be a part of ACD. Importantly, the Court is unable to impose conditions of community service that continue past the end date of the ACD adjournment period.

Educational Programs

An educational program may also be a part of an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal adjudication. However, the underlying charge must have involved cyberbullying, or sending or receipt through electronic means of obscenity to nudity and when the sender and the receiver are both under the age of 20 at the time of such communication.

Alcohol Educational Program

As a condition of an adjournment of contemplation of dismissal, a client who is under 21 years of and is charged with a DWI/DWAI/DUI Drugs or purchasing alcohol while under the age of 21, may be required to attend an alcohol awareness program.


Lastly, restitution may be a condition of ACD. Restitution is typically requested in cases involving property damage, such as Criminal Mischief. Criminal Mischief involves the breaking of someone’s property.

When can my NY case be resolved with an ACD?

Your case can be resolved with an ACD at any time before the jury returns a verdict. However, the prosecutor must first determine that an ACD is the appropriate resolution for your case. As discussed above, it may have additional conditions.

What is the length of time that NY ACD stays on my record?

The length of an ACD is usually six months. If the ACD involves a family offense, then the ACD period is 12 months. If the District Attorney determines that it is in the interests of justice, the ACD period can be shortened. Some cases are ACDs with immediate sealing, meaning that once the ACD is accepted by the court, it immediately gets sealed.

Importantly, the adjournment period starts to run from the date that the ACD is accepted by the Court. Not from the date of the arrest, or the date of the arraignment.

Can my NY ACD be reopened?

Yes, your ACD can be reopened by the prosecutor if there is a violation of any of the conditions or if you pick up another case. Reopening of the ACD does not happen automatically. Rather, the prosecutor has to notify the court clerk either of a new arrest or non-compliance with the conditions of the ACD.

Can a NY ACD impact my immigration status?

Since an ACD is not a conviction, or an admission of guilt, it is generally safe for immigration purposes. However, accepting an ACD and waiting for the adjournment period to finish will look like an open criminal matter for the purposes of immigration. Additionally, the arrest alone may result in an inquiry from immigration if you are not a United States citizen. For further immigration guidance, you may want to contact a top rated New York immigration attorney.

Will a NY ACD show up on my criminal background check?

Your NY ACD matter will show up on the background check conducted by law enforcement. However, generally the background check that is conducted by a potential employers won’t show a closed ACD. Once the period of the adjournment finishes, the individual will be restored to the status they were prior to the arrest. Therefore, a closed ACD would restore an individual to the same status as they were prior to the arrest.

Contact an Experienced NY ACD Attorney today

If you have questions regarding your case or ACD matter, please contact us for assistance.