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Case Resolution

This section presents data on all cases prosecuted by the District Attorney's (DA) Office that have reached a final resolution (a case disposition). Cases can be resolved in a variety of ways, including by dismissal, diversion, deferred judgment, guilty plea, or by acquittal or guilty verdict at trial. 

Why is this important? It is important to review how cases are resolved to ensure we are addressing serious crime effectively while minimizing unnecessary punitiveness.











At various times in 2020, the court did not hold jury trials due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time the DA's office reviewed hundreds of traffic cases and, when appropriate, dismissed minor offenses that did not implicate community safety. In 2022, the DA's Office, at the request of stakeholders, reviewed traffic cases that were reclassified as civil infractions and were at least ten years old, held two Fresh Start events to clear warrants, and with the assistance of Justice Services identified over 850 open cases where the defendant was deceased and dismissed those cases (when properly identified as dismissed because of deceased defendant these cases were removed from the data). Because of these case reviews and warrant clearing efforts intended to aid our jurisdiction's administrative backlog, the data reflects a significant increase in dismissed cases.


Indicators

Below are a set of indicators that provide additional context about case resolutions. These indicators help the DA's Office ensure they are achieving outcomes efficiently, effectively, and fairly.



Our prosecutors work diligently to determine the appropriate outcome in each case by considering the strength of the evidence, the impact to the victim, the defendant's criminal history, mitigating circumstances, and the collateral consequences of a felony conviction. We anticipate that this indicator will continue to remain consistent, however, due to recent legislative changes that reclassified charges in 2020 and 2021, many low-level felonies were reduced to misdemeanors. We will continue to monitor how these legislative changes impact our work.



Our prosecutors seek to achieve the appropriate outcomes in each individual case. The DA's office has partnered with The Equity Project to improve our staff's understanding of equity, diversity, and inclusion in our work with victims, defendants, and the community. Our aim is to address disparities in case resolutions.



Click Here for more information about race and ethnicity data collection and limitations.




Our office plans to efficiently and effectively review cases, seek the input of victims as early as possible, and communicate with the defense counsel regarding an appropriate resolution. However, there are many factors that are outside of our prosecutor's control like delays in forensic testing, the court's availability, or securing the input of a necessary witness. While timeliness is important, our primary goal is to achieve a well considered and thoughtful resolution in each case.













Continuances may be requested by either party in a case. Ultimately, it is the judge who determines whether to grant or deny requests for a continuance and sets the case schedule.


Notes

  • Each case is reflected by its top disposition. For example, if a charge on a case is dismissed as a part of plea negotiations and another charge on the case is plead guilty, the case will be reflected here as a “plead guilty.”
  • The charge level represents the most serious charge filed in a case.
  • Warrants are excluded (for all cases identified as a warrant).
  • Cases disposed with a disposition reason “deceased defendant” are excluded from case resolution related charts.
  • Hearings that occurred after case resolution (for e.g., if a defendant was on probation or returned to court for some reason after the case was disposed) are excluded from the average number of hearings per case.