Dallas County Misdemeanor Court Data
Below is an interactive summary of misdemeanor court data from Dallas County, covering the years of 2015-2018. While we encourage you to view and interact with the data yourself, here are some key takeaways:
The overwhelming majority of homeless residents of Dallas County accused of misdemeanors are ultimately convicted, and those convictions are almost exclusively through guilty pleas rather than trials.
Most people who serve jail time for misdemeanor convictions serve between 21 and 60 days.
Black defendants serve a disproportionate amount of jail time for trespassing convictions.
Two-thirds of homeless defendants had bond imposed.
Bond was routinely imposed for charges such as marijuana possession, criminal mischief, public intoxication (with 3 priors), and prostitution. For all of these charges, bond was imposed in the clear majority of cases.
These bonds are associated with greater rates of guilty pleas compared with defendants who had no bond imposed.
While fewer fines are imposed on homeless defendants, court costs are assessed at amounts comparable to non-homeless defendants, despite clear inability to pay.