U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Prosecution of Felony Arrests, 1988

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 1992
Publication Series
This report presents data on the prosecution of felony arrests in 30 urban jurisdictions in 1988 and indicates that 54 of every 100 adult arrests will result in a conviction to either a felony or a misdemeanor, including 52 guilty pleas and 2 convictions at trial.

Of the 54 arrests resulting in conviction, 32 will lead to a sentence of incarceration including 14 sentences of more than 1 year. Among the 46 arrests that do not result in conviction, 6 will result in defendants' being referred to diversion programs or to other courts for prosecution, 18 will be rejected for prosecution at screening and before court charges are filed, 21 will be dismissed in court, and 1 will result in an acquittal at trial. Some jurisdictions obtain felony convictions in virtually all cases producing convictions, while others routinely reduce felony cases to misdemeanors. In addition, prosecutors vary in whether they drop felony charges before or after court charges are filed, and sentences vary according to jurisdiction and whether convictions are obtained in lower court or felony court. Finally, in all jurisdictions the time from arrest to final court disposition varies by whether a case ends in a dismissal, guilty plea, or trial, with trials requiring the longest disposition times. Tables and appended tables and profiles of each jurisdiction (Author summary modified)

Date Published: February 1, 1992