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An Online Resource Library on Gender-Based Violence.

State Court Processing of Domestic Violence Cases

General Material

This report demonstrates that state felony defendants charged with domestic violence were prosecuted, convicted and incarcerated at rates either equal to or higher than felony defendants charged with non-domestic violence. Data are also presented regarding court issued protection orders, guilty plea versus trial convictions, and the demographic characteristics of domestic violence defendants.

The study was conducted to examine how domestic violence cases were handled by the justice system. Persons charged with domestic or non-domestic violence were tracked in court records from May 2002, when charges were filed, through final court disposition.

Highlights include the following:

  • A third of violent felony defendants were charged with domestic violence.
  • Prosecuted domestic sexual assault defendants had a higher overall conviction rate (98%) than prosecuted non-domestic sexual assault defendants (87%).
  • Domestic aggravated assault defendants (54%) were less likely to be granted pretrial release than non-domestic aggravated assault defendants (62%).