Overview of Federal Criminal Cases, Fiscal Year 2010


FY 2010 Overview of Federal Criminal CasesThe United States Sentencing Commission received information on 84,095 new federal criminal cases in which the offender was sentenced in fiscal year 2010. Among these cases, 83,946 involved an individual defendant and 149 involved a corporation or other “organizational” defendant. This publication provides a brief overview of those cases.

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Key Findings

A review of cases reported to the Commission in fiscal year 2010 reveal the following:

  • The vast majority of the cases reported to the Commission involve an individual defendant. Over the last decade, the number of these cases has increased every year except one. In fiscal year 2010, the increase was 3.2 percent over the number of such cases in fiscal year 2009.

  • In fiscal year 2010, immigration, drugs, fraud, or firearms crimes accounted for more than 82 percent of all cases reported to the Commission.

  • In fiscal year 2010, 52.5 percent of all offenders were United States citizens. However, the percentage of non-citizen offenders has risen substantially over the last ten years, up 10.4 percentage points from fiscal year 2006 and up 13.9 percentage points from fiscal year 2001.

  • The vast majority of convicted defendants plead guilty. In fiscal year 2010, more than 96 percent of all offenders did so, a rate that has been largely the same for ten years.

  • The vast majority of criminal offenders are men, and their proportion of the total offender population has remained constant for more than a decade. In fiscal year 2010, 86.8 percent of all offenders were men, compared with 86.7 percent in fiscal year 2006 and 85.5 percent in fiscal year 2001.

  • The portion of the annual caseload attributable to immigration cases has increased from 17.8 percent in fiscal year 2001 to 34.4 percent in fiscal year 2010.