The Texas Office of Court Administration recently released its FY 2019 annual statistical report for public view. The report highlights various statewide trends. For instance, the number of new misdemeanor criminal cases filed has fallen 33% from its peak in 2007 to just under 400,000 filings. This is the lowest filing rate since 1991. Drug and alcohol offenses constituted 37% of the new misdemeanor cases filed. After nine years of decline, the number of new DWI cases increased by 6% in 2019 and by 7% in 2018. Likewise, misdemeanor domestic violence charges have increased by 9% since 2017.
On the other hand, various types of misdemeanor criminal charge filings have decreased substantially over the past five years. These cases include theft by check, marijuana possession, many other minor drug offenses, driving with suspended/invalid licenses,
However, the filing rate for felony criminal offenses has consistently increased since 2014, reaching an all-time high in 2019 of over 225,000. One-third of the new felony filings involved drug charges, and the number of new felony drug possession cases increased 3% over last year to a new high of almost 62,500. New felony DWI charges increased in the previous two years after four years of decline to about 10,3000 filings. Meanwhile, new felony family violence cases have increased since 81% since 2014.
Although most new felony filings increased, including felony theft cases and auto theft cases, the rate of new misdemeanor theft filings remained the same. New burglary and robbery cases also declined.
The criminal defense lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the cases of countless individuals who are facing criminal charges in the state of Texas. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf. As a result, we will strive to get the best outcome possible in your case. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an appointment with our criminal defense attorneys.