Trials

Jury trials are an important, resource-intensive, and often the most public part of the criminal process. Most dispositions, however, are the result of plea negotiations between the prosecutor and the defense attorney. If the case cannot be resolved through plea negotiations, a trial will be set, and a jury will be selected to hear the evidence and agree on a verdict. In San Francisco, similar to the rest of the state of California, roughly 2% of felony filings result in a jury trial. However, at 5%, San Francisco's misdemeanor trial rate is much higher than the statewide average of 1%. Robust tracking of jury trials began in San Francisco in 2014. Reliable, comprehensive data regarding other dispositions, such as pleas, is not currently available from the Superior Court.

Dashboard Legend

Date Parameter

Jury Sworn Date: The date that the 12 jurors are sworn in to hear the trial.

Unit of Measurement Defendant Trial: Defendant for each given trial. Co-defendant trials are counted separately, as each defendant may obtain a different outcome.
Graph

Convicted: Defendant was determined to be guilty by the jury, or in rare instances, plead guilty during the course of the trial. Convicted trials are considered tried to resolution and are counted in the trial conviction rate. 

Mistrial: The jury could not come to a verdict or a mistrial was called for some other reason. Mistrials are pending matters that may be prosecuted or tried again, and are thus excluded from the trial conviction rate. 

Not Convicted: Defendant was determined to be not guilty by the jury, or the the trial was dismissed. Not convicted trials are considered tried to resolution and are counted in the trial conviction rate.

% Convicted: The conviction rate is the percentage of trials ending in conviction out of all cases that were tried to resolution. A conviction is a trial where the defendant pleas or the jury returns a guilty verdict on any of the charges at trial, unless the only convicted charge is an infraction, in which case, the trial would be categorized as not convicted. 

Filters

Case Type: Felony, misdemeanor. "Null" reflects mental health proceedings that are neither felony or misdemeanor.

Year: The year that the jury was sworn. By clicking the triangle to the left of the year, you may also filter by quarter, month, or day within a given year.

Crime Type: The crime type assigned at the point of filing, reflecting the most serious charge on the case. To better reflect the work, crime type categorizations have changed and been added over time. For example, in 2013, we created two categories for Robbery: 1st Degree & 2nd Degree. In 2014, the office began categorizing the various crime types under the Domestic Violence umbrella by their specific crime types, which for the most part include: Assault, Threats, and Stalking.


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