Most frequently asked TOP 10 CRIMINAL Questions

1. What is an arraignment?

An arraignment is the first time the accused appears before the court where the criminal action is pending. 

The defendant is then informed of the charges against him, the right to counsel and bail issues.

2. What does ROR mean?
R.O.R. means released on (defendant's) own recognizance. This means that the court has decided that the defendant does not need to pay any money to be released from jail and the defendant will be released from jail with a  promise that he/she will return on the next issued court date.

3. What is a temporary order of protection?
A judge can issue a temporary order of protection, requiring the defendant to limit contact with victims, witnesses and spouses during the course of the case.

4. Should I talk to the police when they call me into the station for questioning?
NO. You should not speak to the police without being represented by an attorney. An attorney's job is to protect the interests of his/her client.

5. Can I hire a lawyer, if I don't have money?
YES. The court will assign you to The Legal Aid Society if financially unable to afford private counsel.

6. What is The Legal Aid Society's Criminal Defense Division (CDD)?
The Criminal Defense Division handles criminal cases at the trial level. These cases can range from violations and misdemeanors to felonies. To be eligible for representation by The Legal Aid Society, the court must find that the defendant is unable to retain private counsel due to financial limitations. The Legal Aid Society is usually assigned during the arraignment proceedings.

7. What is a misdemeanor?
A misdemeanor means an offense, other than a traffic infraction, for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment in excess of fifteen days may be imposed, but for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment in excess of one year cannot be imposed. NY Penal Law definition.

8. What is a felony?
A felony means an offence for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment in excess of one year may be imposed. NY Penal Law definition.

9. What is an A.C.D. (also referred to as an A.C.O.D.)?
An. ACD or ACOD means an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal. This means the case is adjourned for six months or one year in anticipation of dismissal and upon successful completion of a condition that the court issued in order for the case to be dismissed. Some of these conditions include community service, orders of protection and counseling.

10. What happens if I get charged with unlawful possession of marihuana?
The NY Penal Law Section 221.05 states that, "Unlawful possession of marihuana is a violation punishable only by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars. However, where the defendant has previously been convicted. ..of any other drug offenses (emphasis added) it shall be punishable by a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars or a term of imprisonment not in excess of fifteen days or both, if the defendant was previously convicted of two such offenses committed during such period."

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