“You have a truly sharp legal mind and your courtroom presence is among the best. I am forever grateful for your two years of hard work, dedication and service to my father's case.” — R.C.
“I give Mr. Spano the highest possible recommendation. Mr. Spano helped me navigate a somewhat unorthodox legal matter, did so quickly, and always kept me informed.”
“Thanks for taking my case and getting me a not guilty verdict. You are a great lawyer. I could not asked for anything more. Please know you hold a special place in my family's heart.” — G.B.
“Many thanks for the very professional and gentlemanly way that you conducted yourself at the trial of my son. I along with all of my family were thrilled beyond words with the outcome.” — B.B.
“Thank you for assuring me that just because a good honest person makes a mistake does not mean they have to be treated like a criminal!” — D.S.

What is adjournment in contemplation of dismissal

If you face criminal charges in New York State, you may receive an offer of Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal. Whether you should accept this offer depends on the circumstances of your case, but you should understand what it is and how it affects you.

How it works

Taking an ACD means the court postpones the disposition of your case for a period of time, typically ranging between six months and one year. During this time period, you will be on probation and will need to meet certain conditions the judge will set. For example, judges may require you to perform community service, attend anger management classes or complete an alcohol rehabilitation program. You also may simply need to avoid committing any other offenses.

What you have to do

If you comply with all requirements, at the end of the time period the court will dismiss your case. You will avoid having a criminal record, and only groups such as law enforcement will have access to your case records and know that you ever faced these charges. An ACD does not require you to admit guilt, so you do not have a conviction. Prosecutors also may not file a criminal case against you based on that case.

Why an ACD is not always best

While an ACD offers several advantages, you may be better off not taking it. You will have criminal charges pending against you during the adjournment period, and this can present a serious problem if you are a licensed professional, parolee or non-U.S. citizen. If you work in law enforcement, you will not have access to your weapons throughout this period and may face additional professional repercussions.

Always speak with your attorney before accepting any offer because your lawyer can explain potential consequences or benefits. Your lawyer can also negotiate with prosecutors, advise you throughout your case and mount a strong defense at trial.

 

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