Every year, the Delaware Supreme Court publishes a report of court statistics. You can find the full report here.
As always, there are some interesting observations to be made:
Our Superior Court has jurisdiction over felonies and non-marijuana drug cases. Last year, 8,186 cases were filed against criminal defendants, up 5.6% from last year.
• Only about 3% of cases went to trial. The vast majority were handled by guilty plea.
• Of the 3,470 guilty pleas, 85% pled guilty to one of the charged crimes. The rest pled guilty to lesser offenses.
• If the case went to trial, the defendant was found guilty 62% of the time. The lowest percentage was New Castle County, at 59.9%. The defendant was found guilty in Sussex County 80% of the time.
• Only 18.8% of the trials resulted in not guilty verdicts. The rest were hung juries, mistrials, and the like.
• The average case took about 143 days to get from arrest to completion by plea or trial. New Castle County was the fastest at 131 days.
The Supreme Court is our appeals court and takes appeals from Superior Court, Family Court, and the Chancery Court. As to criminal cases:
• The Court had 712 criminal appeals in 2013.
• Only about 6% of cases were reversed on appeal. Almost all the rest were affirmed or dismissed.
• The average appeal took 172 days. From the time the case was fully submitted to the Court (by briefs and in some cases oral argument), the Court took about 31 days to decide the case.
Court of Common Pleas
CCP is our high volume misdemeanor court. 112,000 cases were filed against criminal defendants in 2013. Although statistics are not available, the vast majority of the cases resolved by plea rather than trial.
Statistics are interesting, but every case is different. Contact Collins & Associates for a free initial consultation.