Are There Problems With The Bay Area Criminal Justice System?
Being accused of a crime can trigger a whole series of events that can be confusing for the accused. Although everyone accused has certain rights under the constitution, a new study indicates that it can take a long period of time for someone accused of a crime to see their case completed in California. This can add further stress and frustration for the accused individual.
A recent NBC Bay Area analysis of disposition data for the state courts shows that thousands of criminal cases at the felony level have been delayed for years or even decades in jurisdictions throughout California. The analysis shows that San Francisco County and Santa Clara County Superior Court have had some of the biggest criminal backlogs and the lowest percentage of felony cases that were ultimately resolved within a period of 12 months.
That same data indicated that across 2016 and 2015, Santa Clara County ranked last in the state when it came to the percentage of cases that were disposed of within a 12-month period. The Santa Clara county superior court, however, argues that those numbers are inaccurate and flawed. The Santa Clara county superior court alleges that their felony restitution rate is closer to 85% for the same time frame included in the study.
According to some people working in the system, there is a crisis associated with a lack of funding for clerical and administrative positions that has gotten worse over the past decade. Allegedly, this underfunding is taking its toll even in some of the courts that were capable of handling the underfunding in the early stages.
The below average disposition rate across Santa Clara county has had an alleged impact on crime victims because many of them have to wait for years in order for their cases to be effectively resolved. If you have already been accused of a crime in Santa Clara county or elsewhere throughout California, you need to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.