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Commonly Used Terms

At Raiser & Kenniff, PC, we believe in clear, effective communication with our clients.

We never speak in terms you cannot understand and make it our business to keep you informed about the progress of your case every step of the way. Provided below is a list of some commonly used criminal law terms to aid you in understanding the law and your case.

  • YO — “Youthful offender.”  A YO adjudication is not a judgment of conviction for a crime.  Getting YO treatment on a criminal case is extremely beneficial because you do not ever have to divulge you were convicted of a crime, because you weren’t.  Every youth between the age of sixteen and less than nineteen is a mandatory youthful offender on their first misdemeanor conviction (provided they have not previously been convicted of a felony or been designated a juvenile delinquent by committing a designated felony under the Family Court Act).  For a felony offense, you are only an eligible YO — because only a judge can grant you YO status.  For more information, see Criminal Procedure Law Article 720.
  • ACD or ACOD — “Adjournment in contemplation of dismissal.”  An ACD is also not a criminal conviction — it’s an adjournment of the action with a view toward ultimate dismissal.  ACDs can last up to a year from the date of application and can be based upon certain conditions, such as orders of protection, community service, and participation in a program.  For more information, see Criminal Procedure Law Sections 170.55 & 170.56.
  • ROR — “Release on own recognizance.”  ROR is a bail status.  It means that there is no bail set upon your arraignment because the judge believes you are not a flight risk.  There are also mandatory provisions of the law that require ROR procedurally, such as when a sufficient accusatory instrument or a grand jury indictment isn’t filed within a specified time frame. For more information, see Criminal Procedure Law Section 500.10.
  • PFO — “Prior felony offender.”  You are a PFO if you are currently charged with a felony and have a felony conviction within the last 10 years.  The time spent incarcerated within those 10 years gets subtracted — if you had a felony conviction 15 years ago, but have spent seven years in jail, you are still a PFO.  PFOs face mandatory prison sentences upon conviction of a new felony offense.  For more information about PFOs, please see Penal Law Article 70.
  • PSR or PSI — “Pre-sentence report or Pre-sentence investigation.”  A PSR is a written report prepared by the probation department about you that helps assist the judge in fashioning an appropriate sentence.  See Criminal Procedure Law Article 390.
  • SORA — “Sex Offender Registration Act.”  The SORA requires people convicted of certain sex crimes to register in the state database as sex offenders.  Being classified as a sex offender has serious consequences including mandatory registration and significant limitations on your freedom.  For more information about SORA, please refer to Corrections Law Article 168.

Knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers in NYC

Raiser & Kenniff, PC, is here to help you understand every aspect of the law and how it relates to your case. To schedule a free 30-minute consultation with one of our dedicated attorneys, contact us by phone 24/7 at 347-205-8170 or toll free at 347-205-8170 or online.