U.S. flag

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

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Delaware Felony Case Processing: An Analysis of 2006 Adult Arrests

NCJ Number
Charles J. Huenke Jr.
Date Published
January 2011
40 pages
Following a brief discussion of some of the issues associated with the criminal justice databases in Delaware, this study presents step-by-step information on the flow of felons through the criminal justice system for those arrested in 2006.
Forty-three percent of the persons arrested for a felony were convicted of a felony, and 69 percent of those arrested for felonies were convicted of either a felony or a misdemeanor. For all of these convictions, only 11 percent were sentenced to prison for terms of 1 year or more; however, 47 percent were sentenced to some type of incarceration, including prison, jail, or time served. The severity of the offense was a primary factor in the sentencing. Of those arrested for violent crimes and convicted, 40 percent were sentenced to prison; when all types of incarceration are considered, the rate was 80 percent. Fifty percent of those arrested for a felony had two or more prior felony arrests. At the time of disposition, Superior Court defendants were represented by the Public Defender's Office in approximately 60 percent of cases; another 15 percent were represented by contract or court-appointed attorneys. Approximately 23 percent had private representation; and approximately 0.6 percent of defendants represented themselves. In Superior Court convictions, presentence investigations were ordered in approximately 13 percent of cases that involved guilty pleas. For bench trials, 45 percent had presentence investigations; for jury trials, approximately 84 percent had presentence investigations. In 2006, felony defendants in all courts were given fines that totaled approximately $1.2 million; however, this was eclipsed by almost $11 million in suspended fines. Total restitution ordered for 1,840 defendants was approximately $9.4 million. Demographic information on felony defendants addresses gender, age, race, ethnicity, residency, and citizenship. 14 tables and 1 figure