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What Are Your Chances of Getting Acquitted at Trial?

Attorney client privilege

Statistics are the last thing you want to hear when you are facing criminal charges. You care about what will happen to you, not about what happened to X percent of the thousands of people who were in a similar position to yours, and how these data compare to the fate of the people who were in your position in 1980 is especially irrelevant. When planning a defense strategy or seeking a plea deal, though, it helps to think about the big picture. How are today’s juries different from juries in the past?  You are trying to establish reasonable doubt in the minds of little old ladies who spend their days glued to Facebook, not little old ladies whose worldview comes from supermarket tabloid magazines and from encyclopedias sold door to door. 

The good news is that the Texas Judicial Branch publishes data every year on criminal cases and other matters related to the courts. The better news is that a Texas criminal defense lawyercan help you use the data to make informed decisions about your own case.

Recent Data on Outcomes of Criminal Cases in Texas

The most recent year for which data from the Texas Judicial Branch is available is 2021. These are some key findings:

·   ​The number of felony cases filed in Texas courts was lower in 2021 than in preceding years. The only felony offense that was more prevalent in 2021 than in 2020 was capital murder.

·   ​In 2021, only a small percentage of criminal cases resulted in a jury trial. Ninety-six percent of cases where the defendant entered a plea involved a guilty or no contest plea, which means that, instead of a trial, the case went directly to sentencing. 3.6 percent of cases resulted in a trial by a judge, which is only an option for misdemeanor cases. Trials by jury accounted for 0.8 percent of cases.

·   ​18 percent of jury trials resulted in acquittal, and 82 percent resulted in a conviction. Mistrials, where a trial ends without a verdict, are very rare.

·   ​As most cases do not go to trial, convictions were the result in 42 percent of total criminal cases, whereas acquittals were only 0.2 percent of the total. Thirty-one percent of cases resulted in the court dismissing the case, an outcome that does not register as a criminal record for the defendant. Twenty-four percent of cases went to deferred adjudication, where the court dismisses the charges after the defendant completes a probation-like sentence.

Our Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Make All the Difference

If you get arrested, the odds of your case ending in something other than a conviction are in your favor. Working closely with a criminal defense lawyer is the best way to exercise your legal rights and avoid mistakes that could jeopardize your case.

Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC About Criminal Defense Cases

A Dallas criminal defense lawyer can help you present strong defenses to get acquitted or get your charges dismissed. Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC, in Dallas, Texas, to discuss your case.

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