Disposition of cases

Background

In its continuing commitment to transparency to the public, the Beaufort Police Department will begin to report on the disposition of cases that have been adjudicated.

The department is first publishing weapons-related charges. Why? “Over the past year, I have attended many community meetings and spoken to many residents of the City of Beaufort,” Police Chief Dale McDorman said. “During these conversations, I am asked the same question, sometimes in different context, but all asking the same thing, ‘Chief, why don’t your officers do more about the violent crime here in the city?’" These concerns led the department to take a closer look at what happens once arrests are made. 

The next step is the statistical reporting of the court dispositions from both General Sessions Court and Municipal Court, which are also available online in at the Beaufort County Clerk of Court’s Public Index

“I do not believe that as a society we can arrest our way out of the violence that we are seeing today,” Chief McDorman said. “Today, however, I do believe that having consequences for those who do face charges would go a long way in reducing violent crime in our community, which is why I decided to start with weapons law violations.”

Weapons-related court dispositions 2010 to present

Since 2010, Beaufort police officers have arrested more than 300 people on weapons-related charges. Some individuals were charged with multiple weapons-related charges, resulting in 332 charges filed. 

These 332 weapons-related charges account for only 14 percent of the total charges filed by Beaufort officers. As of today, 61 of those cases are awaiting adjudications.

The dispositions of the 271 cases that were adjudicated are listed below with the percentages of each disposition. This information was collected from the Public Index, which is found on the Beaufort County Clerk of Court website. 

● 104 were Nolle Prosequi (not prosecuted) -- 38% 

● 69 were never indicted -- 25% 

● 8 were dismissed at the preliminary hearing -- 3%

● 4 were dismissed after indictment -- 1.4%

● 2 were remanded to a lower court -- less than 1% 

● 1 was failure to comply -- less than 1% 

● 1 received a No Bill (failed to indict) from the grand jury  -- less than 1% 

● 1 was dismissed by a judge -- less than 1%

The 81 cases that were prosecuted include:

● 78 plea deals -- 28.7%

● 7 lesser charge reductions

● 3 trials -- 1%

● 3 guilty verdicts