What Is An ACD?

Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD) is a legal mechanism that permits certain criminal cases to be resolved without a conviction. In the ACD procedure, the defendant often agrees to follow certain guidelines for a predetermined amount of time after which the accusations against them are dropped and the case is sealed, which means it won’t be recorded on their criminal record.

What Is An ACD?
What Is An ACD?

The following are the essential steps in the ACD process:


ACD is typically reserved for first-time offenders and is only typically accessible for minor charges like disorderly conduct or low-level drug offences. The specifics of the case and the jurisdiction may affect a person’s eligibility for ACD.

Agreement to Conditions

If a defendant qualifies for ACD, they may be given the chance to engage into a court-approved agreement to adhere to specific requirements, such as keeping out of trouble, performing community service, going to counselling or treatment programmes, or making reparations.


The case will be put on hold by the court for a set amount of time, usually between six months and a year, if the defendant agrees to the terms. At this period, the defendant is required to follow the predetermined rules.


Charges against the defendant will be dropped and the case will be sealed if they successfully satisfy the requirements. As a result, the case won’t show up on the defendant’s criminal record and they won’t be regarded as having been found guilty of the crime.


If the defendant doesn’t follow the rules, the case will be put back on the court and the prosecution may continue the case as if there had been no ACD given.

Although it is not a certainty, ACD is meant to provide first-time offenders a second chance to avoid a criminal record. The defendant must abide by the terms set forth in the agreement, and failure to do so could result in extra penalties. ACD may also have particular qualifying restrictions and circumstances, and it is not available in all countries. For specific information regarding ACD in your area, it’s vital to speak with a licensed legal expert.

Related Topic: What Is a Conditional Discharge?

How To Get Adjournment In Contemplation of Dismissal?

If certain requirements are completed, a legal procedure known as adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACD) enables criminal charges to be dropped after a specified amount of time, usually between six months and a year. For low-level crimes such minor traffic violations, drug possession, or disorderly behavior, ACD is offered in some jurisdictions.

adjournment contemplation of dismissal

The stages involved in obtaining an ACD vary depending on the jurisdiction, but generally speaking, they are as follows:

1. Consult With An Attorney

If you are facing criminal accusations, it is crucial to speak with a skilled criminal defence lawyer to ascertain whether an ACD is an effective strategy for your case. Your lawyer can represent you in court and assist you in understanding the particular procedures for getting an ACD in your area.

2. Meet the Conditions of the ACD

An ACD may occasionally be provided by the prosecution as part of a plea deal. This means that in exchange for the charges being dropped after a specific amount of time, you would agree to certain requirements like community service or drug treatment.

3. Attend Court Hearings

You might have to show up at court hearings to ask for an ACD if one is not provided as part of a plea deal. You can get assistance from your lawyer in preparing for these sessions and in presenting your case.

4. Negotiate With the Prosecutor

If you are given an ACD, you will have to adhere to a number of requirements, like keeping out of trouble, going to therapy or drug rehab, or performing community service. The ACD may be revoked and the charges may be revived if these requirements are not met.

5. Await Dismissal of Charges

After the allotted time, the charges against you will be dropped if you successfully fulfill the ACD’s requirements. As a result, the offence won’t appear on your criminal record.

Also Check: How Long Does a Felony Stay On Your Record?


What does ACD stand for in time?

The adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, or ACD as it is known to those who work in the justice system, enables the charges against the defendant to be completely dropped in the interest of justice after a specified amount of time, typically six months, provided that the defendant is not arrested again during that time.

What is ACD rule?

According to the ACD rule, which stands for “adjournment in contemplation of dismissal,” some criminal charges may be dropped in some jurisdictions provided the defendant satisfies specific requirements, such as remaining out of trouble for a predetermined amount of time.

What is the benefit of ACD?

The advantage of adjournment in contemplation of dismissal is that it enables defendants to escape a criminal conviction and have their charges dropped provided they adhere to specific requirements, such completing community service or staying out of trouble with the law for a predetermined amount of time.