Key Data and Trends

The Manhattan D.A.’s Office is committed to enhancing transparency in criminal justice. In addition to the regular reports we share on our website, we are now offering a more detailed look at our office’s cases, defendant demographics, and signature initiatives like ending the prosecution of marijuana smoking. Stay tuned for additional statistics and information, including downloadable data sets.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has one of the largest caseloads in the United States. In 2018, the Manhattan D.A.’s Office screened 55,380 cases,[1] comprising 9,995 felonies, 44,033 misdemeanors, and 1,195 violations and/or infractions.[2] The D.A.’s Office declined to prosecute 4,191 of these cases (7.6%). While still among the largest in the nation, the Office’s caseload has decreased by over 48% since 2009, a year in which 107,208 cases were screened. This phenomenon reflects both the overall reduction in arrests across the city, as well as recent policy initiatives by District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. to: 1) end the criminal prosecution of certain low-level offenses, and 2) divert individuals into social services in lieu of arraignment and prosecution.

Arraignments at a Glance

  • 52,224 cases were arraigned in 2018 (9,380 felonies, 41,411 misdemeanors, 874 violations/infractions). [3] This number has decreased by 49% since 2009, a year with 101,762 arraignments.
  • In 30% of arrests each year, individuals receive a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT), which is an official order from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) that instructs an individual to appear in Criminal Court at a future date (typically eight weeks after arrest) to have his or her case arraigned.
  • Those who do not receive a DAT are processed and detained until their case is arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court. On average, it takes 19 hours for an individual arrested on a misdemeanor to be arraigned, and 22 hours for an individual arrested on a felony.

Charges at a Glance

Dispositions at Arraignment

Approximately 42% of misdemeanor cases and 84% of violations/infractions are disposed of at Criminal Court arraignment. Less than 1% of felony cases are disposed of at arraignment. Sixty percent of cases resolved at arraignment do not result in a criminal conviction, including an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD), which is a dismissal of all charges following a period (typically 6 months) of being arrest free. More than one-third plea to a misdemeanor.

Custody Status at Arraignment

In 2018, for the remaining 58% of misdemeanor cases and 99% of felony cases that continued after Criminal Court arraignment, defendants were either: 1) released on their own recognizance (ROR) with the requirement that they return to court at a future date, 2) released with conditions such as enrollment in Supervised Release, 3) had bail set on their case, or 4) remanded into custody.

In roughly 71% of cases that continued after arraignment, defendants were either released on their own recognizance or enrolled in Supervised Release. In 87% of misdemeanor cases, defendants were released on their own recognizance, while 10% had bail set (see “Signature Initiatives” for more information on the Office’s Misdemeanor Bail Guidelines).

[1] Cases reflect the number of arrests screened through the Office’s Early Case Assessment Bureau (ECAB), and do not include non-arrest indictments and other non-arrest cases.

[2] 157 cases are missing charge information.

[3] 559 cases arraigned in 2018 have no available charge information.