Does an ACOD in NYS mean you are guilty for a first time arrest ever ? It was for shoplifting which was a big mistake .

Asked almost 3 years ago - Clifton Park, NY

Some small items were left in my daughters cart after she spent 300.00 in grocies as she was leaving with an employee to help her unload her 2 carts she was stopped and arrested never been in trouble ever ...just went to court and was ACOD'd can she sue civilly as this was a mistake and she was humiliated and has been stressed out ever since ??

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Eric Edward Rothstein

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . ACOD stands for Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal. The case gets adjourned for 6 months and then dismissed, By accepting the ACOD, you daughter did not admit to being guilty of anything. However, it is very unlikely that she can sue. There are laws that protect stores from civil lawsuits in these type of cases and it sounds like the store had probable cause to have her arrested. It is not up to the store to decide why the items were left in the store. That is matter for the courts. However, the prescence of the items coupled with a failure to pay for them gave the store reasonable grounds to believe she stole them. Unless the facts were really extreme, I think your daugther will have to move on.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases.... more
  2. Richard C. Southard

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . An ACoD is not a guilty plea of any kind. It is a mechanism used for cases like your daughter where no real crime took place. All her charges will be dismissed and the record sealed after six months if she complies with the court's conditions. For more information see my Legal guide on understanding the ACD in New York linked in the accompanying comment.

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