What Is Acd in Court

Title: Understanding ACD in Court: A Guide to Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal


When dealing with legal matters, it is crucial to understand the various options available to individuals involved in court proceedings. One such option is Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD). This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of ACD in court, its purpose, process, and implications. Additionally, a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section will address common queries related to ACD.

What is ACD in Court?

Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD) is a legal provision available in some jurisdictions that allows the court to temporarily suspend criminal proceedings against an individual. If granted, the court will effectively adjourn the case for a specified period, during which the defendant must comply with certain conditions. These conditions may include avoiding further criminal activity, participating in counseling or rehabilitation programs, or maintaining law-abiding behavior.

Purpose of ACD:

The primary objective of ACD is to provide eligible defendants with an opportunity to rehabilitate themselves and demonstrate good conduct. It is an alternative to traditional criminal sanctions, offering individuals a chance to avoid a conviction on their record, provided they comply with the specified conditions during the adjournment period.

Process of Obtaining ACD:

1. Application: The defendant’s attorney typically files a motion requesting ACD, outlining the reasons why the defendant should be considered for this option. The prosecution may also support or object to the motion.

2. Consideration: The court reviews the motion, taking into account factors such as the defendant’s criminal record, the nature of the offense, and the defendant’s willingness to accept responsibility for their actions.

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3. Conditions: If the court grants ACD, it will impose specific conditions that the defendant must fulfill during the adjournment period. These conditions may differ depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances of the case.

4. Adjournment: The court adjourns the case for a designated period, typically ranging from six months to two years. During this period, the defendant must comply with the specified conditions, failing which the case may be reactivated.

5. Case Dismissal: If the defendant successfully fulfills all conditions during the adjournment period, the court dismisses the case, and the charges are dropped. Consequently, the defendant avoids a conviction on their record.


Q1. Who is eligible for ACD?
A: Eligibility criteria may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the nature of the offense. Generally, first-time offenders or those charged with minor offenses are more likely to be considered for ACD.

Q2. Can ACD be granted for serious offenses?
A: ACD is typically reserved for less severe offenses. Serious crimes such as violent offenses or felonies may not be eligible for ACD in certain jurisdictions.

Q3. Does ACD guarantee a clean record?
A: ACD does not guarantee a clean record immediately. If successfully completed, the charges are dismissed, but there may be a waiting period before the record is sealed or expunged.

Q4. What happens if the defendant violates the conditions?
A: If the defendant fails to comply with the specified conditions, the court may reactivate the case, and the individual will face prosecution for the original charges.

Q5. Can ACD be used more than once?
A: The availability of multiple ACDs varies by jurisdiction. In some cases, individuals may be granted ACD more than once, but it is generally less common.

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Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD) is a legal provision that provides individuals facing criminal charges with an opportunity to avoid a conviction by complying with specified conditions during an adjournment period. ACD serves as an alternative to traditional criminal sanctions, allowing defendants to rehabilitate themselves and demonstrate good conduct. Understanding the process and implications of ACD can help individuals make informed decisions when navigating the complexities of the legal system.