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.