Here are the 2012 felony statistics for Collin County, Texas issued by the Collin County District Clerk’s Office. The District Clerks and District Courts have jurisdiction to handle felonies.
As you can see, 3,001 new cases were indicted in 2012. It should be noted the statistics do not include Grand Jury No-Bills. These are cases presented to the Grand Jury where the Grand Jury does not issue a felony indictment.
Looking Into the Numbers of the Most Indicted Cases:
Felony theft charges were not the most common existing cases on file coming in to 2012, but it was the most common case indicted by the Grand Jury in 2012. Felony theft cases can arise two different ways. The first way is by amount alleged to have been stolen. Theft is typically categorized by amount alleged to have been taken. Theft over $1,500 but less than $20,000 is a State Jail Felony. You can read more about felony theft classifications here. The second way theft can be filed as a felony is where a person arrested for theft has twice before been previously convicted of theft.
Felony theft allegations based on amount are more likely to involve situations where the parties know one another — unlike shoplifting or retail theft. It isn’t unusual for an accuser to contact law enforcement over what would otherwise be a civil business matter gone sour. Police, without detailed legal training, can sometimes mis-judge the matter and set criminal wheels in motion.
Restitution is a major factor in many plea negotiations involving theft of larger amounts.
2. Drug Possession.
Felony drug possession accounted for the 2nd most indictments. These include cases like possession of drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine or drugs like Adderall without a prescription.
In addition, drug charges had the highest number of revocations as well.
You can also see very few drug cases are set for trial by Judge or Jury. This does not mean, however, they are not frequently contested. These statistics do not reflect motions to suppress which call into question the legality of the search. 50 drug cases were dismissed in 2012. This could be because a Judge granted a motion to suppress rendering the State’s case gutted. Page 3 of the statistic list no motions to suppress were attempted, however, there may be some error in reporting as this number is highly unlikely.
The main issues which arise in drug cases are the legality of the polices’ search or seizure of the drugs in question or whether the accused had actual care custody control or management of the drugs in question.
3. Aggravated Assault/ Attempted Murder
These cases commonly arise from deadly situations — often within one’s own family. Here’s a blog which discusses aggravated assault charges in more detail.
Unlike drug cases, you can see far fewer instances of revocation or adjudication attempts by the State. Statistically, it also looks like this charge was more contested in trials with roughly 30.5% of trials resulting in acquittals.
Aggravated assault cases could be normal fight scenarios where someone gets badly hurt, or domestic fighting situations where someone uses a weapon such as a knife, scissors, or any other object which use or intended use could be categorized as a deadly weapon.
Burglary charges are classified by the type of structure being entered. Burglary of a building is a State Jail Felony, but burglary of a habitation is a 2nd Degree felony. You can read more about burglary here.
Frequent legal issues in burglary cases include the identity of the accused and whether the person “intended to commit a felony” by entry into the structure — which is an element of burglary of either a building or habitation.
5. Drug Sale or Manufacturing
Obviously there is much overlap between these charges and simple drug possession. In fact, many are indicted as both, “possession with intent to distribute.” Here is a quick discussion of how normal drug charges get enhanced.
Again, very few of these charges are contested through trials — but may be through motions to suppress not listed here. Additionally, there is a high revocation or adjudication rate.
Often drug sale or manufacturing is alleged in conjunction with drug possession, but not always.