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Can I ask for an ACD without a lawyer present? Should I plead guilty or not guilty?

Canandaigua, NY |

I received an unlawful possession of marijuana last night and I go to court for it on Thursday night. I had less than one gram on me at the time. I can't afford to pay for a lawyer but I don't want this charge to end up on my permanent record because I want to be a teacher and I know it will follow me. Someone please help me out here because there are so many different and contradicting stories when I google it.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Generally, a UPM case is handled with a marijuana ACD. This means that the case will be dismissed without a record. If this is your first arrest, you should be eligible. If no lawyer is appointed for you, you should ask the judge for the marijuana ACD.


  2. Plead not guilty or it goes on your permanent record.
    You can ask judge for ACD if it's that type of court or ask for an attorney to be assigned to you.

    Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
    Immediate Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
    Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
    1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
    Garden City, NY 11530
    516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)
    Jlopiccolo@hbclaw.net

    I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.


  3. Do not say or do anything without an attorney. Certainly don't plead guilty to anything. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to you for free by the court. From what you describe you are eligible for the ACD

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