I attend a public college in the state of New York and I have received a ticket for Unlawful Possession of Marijuana. I am aware that it is only punishable by a fine but I have heard of people from my town receiving ACD and they did not have to pay the fine.
Your lawyer can negotiate an ACD on your behalf At the very least, consult with a lawyer about the ACD before taking it.
An ACD is possible but not mandatory.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been handling criminal defense and personal injury cases for over 18 years. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails, is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
The DA mayboffervit on his own, or it may be requested. Either way, it's up to the prosecutor.
Any response I provide is meant as a general view on the subject and is no way intended to be specific legal advice to any individual. If you wish specific advice, you should hire and consult with an attorney of your choosing.
You have a collateral problem that hasn't been raised yet, which is your eligibility for federal student loans if you plead guilty without the ACD. Although UPM is a non-criminal violation in NYS, a guilty plea to UPM could make you ineligible to receive federal benefits such as student loans. Therefore, you should hire a criminal defense attorney to improve your chances of receiving an ACD. Ideally, if you cannot retain an attorney by your court date, then appear and enter a "not guilty" plea, and ask for a thirty (30) day adjournment to retain an attorney, but ask that your appearance be at the next "DA Night" (assuming this is not Oswego or Fulton City Court) so you can speak with a DA if you cannot retain an attorney. However, just because other people in that jurisdiction have received ACDs for the same charge does not mean that you will. ACDs are granted on a case-by-case basis.
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