Q: What's the easiest way to find EVERYONE charged with a specific crime in the state?
I am not a lawyer, but I am doing research. I want to find everyone CHARGED with a specific crime in the past 3 years (that are public records). Doesn't have to be literally everyone because I know some are expunged, but whatever I can find with the public records.
Right now what I am doing is a very long and convoluted method, but one that will give me what I want. I am searching chronologically for each county of ALL charges (state vs so-and-so in X county between 1/1/2016 and 1/5/2016). I can only do a few days at a time to keep it under the 500 record limit. Then I'm using excel to make URLs for all the case dockets and downloading them in bulk using a download manager. Then I grep the charge name and open the specific dockets.
Is there an easier way to do this? If I could just search the statue or CJIS code, that would make it so much easier.
A: This data is gathered for the state. It’s used for all sorts of purposes. Budgets and resource allocation depend on it. Try calling the Administrative Office of the Courts in Annapolis for direction. The Maryland Sentencing Commission uses this info to update the Maryland Sentencing Guidelines. Each county State’s Attorney’s Office (and City of Baltimore) maintains statistical info on all crimes charged and their disposition. The criminal clerk’s offices of the District and Circuit courts gather and report this info as well. I’m sure it’s all available in some form or other. These are all state government agencies or departments or judicial branch offices, and are subject to FOIA requests if the info is not readily available. Be aware that a vast majority of first time offenses of a minor nature (misdemeanor theft, drug possession, e.g.) are routinely diverted pretrial for noncourt disposition that results in dismissal and then expungement. If you miss all those, you’re missing a lot.
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