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Felony Case-Processing Time

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 1986
This report presents data on the time for processing felony cases in the courts of 12 mostly urban U.S. jurisdictions.

The 12 legal jurisdictions are Los Angeles County; San Diego County; New York County; State of Rhode Island; District of Columbia; Salt Lake County; Multnomah County; Orleans Parish; St. Louis City; and the 1st, 17th, and 10th judicial districts (Colorado). In 10 jurisdictions, the data are for cases initiated in calendar or fiscal 1981; in New Orleans and Rhode Island, the data are for cases initiated in calendar 1980. The data show the elapsed time from arrest to disposition for felony arrests that resulted in charges being filed in court and for those filed cases subsequently indicted and bound over to the felony court for disposition. About half of all felony arrests for which charges were filed were disposed in 3.5 months or less. Processing time for cases indicted and bound over for trial was just under 5 months. Cases resulting in trials took about twice as long as those resulting in guilty pleas or dismissals. Generally, the more serious the charge the longer the case processing time. 2 tables and 4 references.

Date Published: August 1, 1986