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Less than 70 percent of Adult Felony Arrests Result in Conviction in California

Apr 21, 2017 by Mike McKneely in Criminal Defense

It can be embarrassing and stressful to be arrested for a crime. Felony charges are even scarier. What if you end up spending the rest of your life in jail?

The truth is that in California, only two-thirds of felony arrests result in a conviction. In 2015, 66.9 percent of those arrested for felony offenses were convicted. This means that 33 percent, or a third, of those arrested for felony crimes, are not charged or have their cases dismissed or they are acquitted at trial. These statistics show how important it is to have a Fresno criminal defense attorney on your side from the beginning.

If you’re facing a felony charge in California, contact an experienced attorney with Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer at (559) 443-7442 to discuss finding a favorable outcome.

Arrest Statistics

In 2015, 242,460 adults in California were arrested for felony offenses. Of those, 162,282 were convicted. Three percent – 7,537 – were later released by police officers. Sixteen percent – 38,733 people – were never prosecuted. In 14 percent of the cases, the 33,908 adults arrested had their cases dismissed or were acquitted.

Many people may be surprised by these results since it’s common to think that if you are arrested, you will almost always be charged and convicted of the crime. As these statistics show, this is not true. In fact, felony arrests were down by 70,000 from the previous year (2014). The number of arrests was at its lowest point in 30 years – since 1985. Why such a dramatic decrease?
California’s Proposition 47 took several crimes that were formerly felonies and turned them into misdemeanors. This includes certain drug possession and theft crimes.

How are These Convictions Avoided?

How is it possible for someone to get arrested for a felony, but not be convicted? Simply put, skilled criminal defense lawyers know how to navigate the system to achieve more manageable results. In many cases, this can be the result of plea bargains to a lesser crime.

You may also be able to participate in a diversion program. In exchange for pleading guilty, you may be able to perform community service or pay restitution to the victim. Once your service is completed, the charge is dismissed.

In certain situations, you can complete a treatment program in place of a conviction. This usually applies to those accused of drug or alcohol crimes. You may be asked to complete a program and stay sober for a specified period of time. Once your “probation” is over, the charge can usually be dismissed.

McKneely Law is Here to Help

An arrest does not have to equal a conviction. Even if you are accused of a felony, you don’t have to plead guilty. By pleading not guilty, you open the door to a world of opportunities. Without a conviction, you have more freedom.

Whether you’re facing misdemeanor or felony charges, you need an experienced Fresno criminal defense attorney on your side. Attorney Michael McKneely will fight for your rights, whether your case is big or small.

The first step to avoiding a conviction is to get the right lawyer on your side. To learn more, contact Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer today at (559) 443-7442.

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