Adjourned in Contemplation of Dismissal

Adjourned in Contemplation of Dismissal

In U.S. criminal law, Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal, or ACD, may be offered to a defendant in the interest of justice with a view toward ultimate dismissal of the charge (see e.g. New York Criminal Procedure Law, Section 170.55). The case is usually adjourned for a period of six months (sometimes a year) after which time the case will be dismissed as long as the defendant has stayed out of trouble, i.e., has not gotten arrested again. It is NOT a form of probation nor a conviction.

In criminal procedure, the defendant subject to the Ajournment in Contemplation of Dismissal is restored to the status he or she occupied prior to arrest, either during or after the period of adjournment that accompanies the ACD: that is, all records of the arrest and charges are non-existent after the period of time for which the ACD applies; however, a local law enforcement record of the arrest is retained by default, unless explicitly expunged.

An Ajournment in Contemplation of Dismissal is not an admission of guilt. It is a routine form of dismissal for minor offenses (outright dismissals are seldom made). It is commonly offered to protesters who were arrested in order to deter the defendant from committing illegal acts while the ACD is active. The use of ACD is seen in precedents such as the "Bikes Against Bush" [ [ Official website] of the Bikes Against Bush" pressure group.] protests.

Conditional ACDs

The judge Ajourning in Contemplation of Dismissal may impose specific conditions on the defendant subject to the ACD, which may include:
*Community service
*Drug rehabilitation
*Make restitution with a victim of the circumstances
*Avoiding contact with the victim

It may also be accompanied by an admonition to abstain from wanton, injurious, criminal, abusive or disruptive behaviour. On the acceptance of the ACD and its conditions by all parties to the case, including judge, prosecuting attorney and the defence, the matter is adjourned without disposition and the defendant is released without bail condition. In Alabama, The term is also Know as "PreTrial Diversion" or "Deferred Prosecution".

Application and surrounding process

The burden of proof in the court systems which employ the system of ACD rests with the people (that is, the prosecution). If evidence demonstrating guilt is not presented, the matter is deemed dismissed, and the ACD proceeds along its standard course of action.

In New York State, a case subject to an ACD is normally dismissed on the date of adjournment, and restored on the first anniversary of the dismissal, upon which the matter is sealed automatically, except on objection from the prosecution.

Alternative terminology

The terminology by which an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal is referred may vary from state to state. In Maryland, it is termed "Probation before Judgement". It may also be referred to as an ACOD, which is identical to ACD, but includes the pronoun "of" in the title that is abbreviated.

There is a separate provision for ACDs involving marijuana in the state of New York, U.S.A. under CPL 170.56. [ [ Full legislation] on Adjournment In Contemplation Of Dismissal In Cases Involving Marihuana.]

In (Houston County,Alabama), it is termed "Pre-trial Diversion"it may als be referred to District Attorney Doug Valeska's "CASH COW"


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