Charges

The Charges feature allows recording one or more criminal charges against the client.

Cost: No additional cost. Enabled by default for public defenders. (Enabled for all sites effective 2020-10-02).

Charges Generally

Site administrators typically enable this feature by creating a dynamic Add/Edit Charges form and process. There are two options for blocks to add Charges. One is a static Add Charge block that allows you to add as many charges as you want, but the fields are not configurable. The New Charge block on the other hand allows you to customize the fields displayed on it.

Charges are based on the Charge Lookup. This allows for the following data points:

    • Name

    • Active

    • List Order

    • Statute Number (text)

    • Punishment Range (text)

    • Penalty Class (lookup)

    • Charge Category (lookup)

    • $ of days for Speedy Trial (number)

    • Common Name (text)

    • State (text)

    • Statute Language (text area)

    • Eligible for Expungement (bookean)

    • Default Case Credit (number)

    • Automatically Expire Case Credits (boolean)

In the charges dropdown on the blocks, you will see the Charge Names listed in a searchable dropdown. The Charge Category separates each item. Also, the Statute Number is concatenated with the Charge Name to ease searching. This means if you have a charge named "Attempted Murder" and the statute is "102.55(a)", in the lookup the entry will be "102.55(a) Attempted Murder". As a searchable dropdown, typing "102.55(a)" or "murder" would have this result showing up. All of these data points are available in reports.

Filling out the charges menu may be daunting given the number of charges in each state. We encourage you to use the import charge lookup feature via uploading a JSON file. You will need to download a JSON with an example data row to get the right data structure and for the Penalty Class or Charge Category, you will need to have prepopulated those lookups first.

In addition to the Charge lookup, a number of other lookups are related:

    • Charge

    • Charge Category (see above)

  • Charge Outcome (to list the specific dispositions of the individual Charges)

  • Charge Penalty Class (see above)

  • Charge Tag (see below)

Add Charges Block

The Add Charges block is a fairly static way to add multiple charges. On the back end of the block, the following configuration options are available:

    • Show Case Credit Row

    • Default Case Credit Amount

    • Require Case Credit Amount

    • Show Credit User (only effective on matter forms)

    • Show Charge Tag(s)

    • Default Charge Tag(s) based on Charge

    • Allow Case Credit Only on Top Charge

    • Credit User Assignment type (Assignment type lookup)

Charge Tags and Case Credits are discussed below. Every case must have exactly one Top Charge. This is typically the lead charge in the criminal case. The first charge entered is defaulted to be the Top Charge. If you toggle any of the later charges as the Top Charge, on saving, it will downgrade the existing Top Charge. The Disposition field links back to the Charge Outcome lookup. This block is useful for both entering new Charges and editing existing ones.


New Charge Block

The New Charge block is a way to reference a dynamic Charge form. As the Charge field must be required, we recommend that this be set behind a Branch Logic Toggle block with a Submit (configurable) block set to save and stay on the same page when trying to add multiple charges.

This block can be very useful for two main reasons:

    1. You can remove fields you do not use and might confuse staff.

    2. You can add custom fields on the Charge itself. (For example, the County of Cannabis Conviction above is a custom field.)

However, it is harder to edit or remove Charges later on. Editing a Charge created this way will not redirect you back to the underlying process (such as a closing process). Some groups will use the Add Charges block on an Aux Process to make things easier.

The Dynamic forms can be created by going to Admin -> Processes, Forms, and Profiles -> Switching the module from "Case/Matter" to "Charge". You will need to create a Charge Create form, a Charge Create Process, and a Charge Profile. You may want to also configure the Create form to be an Aux form as well to allow it to easily be edited. On the Charge Create Form, to add the Charge itself, you will want to use the Single Charge Block. This block includes all the same options as for the Add Charges block above, plus the ability to default the Top Charge and to Show the Charge Category (Read Only). For a step by step example, see the Charges portion of the New Leaf Cannabis Expungement setup.

The Charge Profile is required as a landing page after editing an existing Charge. This will provide the user with a link back to the case's main profile. Using an Action menu link or a side bar link to an Aux Process will allow the user to edit the Charge as well.

Do not include the Related Case field on the Create process. That will serve to confuse staff and lead to creating charges on one case, but actually linking them to other cases (if not throwing full screen errors).

Enhanced Charges Block


Status: Testing

Requirements: The Enhanced Charges Block is currently available for all sites. This block and its functionality are in active development. Changes to the interface and functionality are planned and expected.


The Enhanced Charges block is a dynamic way to add multiple charges with the option of controlling what fields you need to collect for each charge entry. The block can be used with different configurations on an intake process, an auxiliary form, and your closing process. On the back end of the block, the following configuration options are available:

  • Show Case Credit Row

  • Default Case Credit Amount

  • Require Case Credit Amount

  • Show Credit User (only effective on matter forms)

  • Default Charge Tag(s) based on Charge

  • Allow Case Credit Only on Top Charge

  • Hide Delete Button?

  • Restrict Charges by Effective Dates

  • Credit User Assignment type (Assignment type lookup)

Charge Tags and Case Credits are discussed below. Every case must have exactly one Top Charge. This is typically the lead charge in the criminal case. The first charge entered should be the Top Charge. If you toggle any of the later charges as the Top Charge, on saving, it will show an error that Multiple Top Charges exist,”. This block is useful for both entering new Charges, and editing or deleting existing Charges.


The enhanced charges block can be very useful alternative for the following reasons:

  • You can choose the appropriate system fields you want to use for Charge entry.

  • You can add custom fields on the Charge itself.

  • The block will display Charge information and make the Charge Listview unnecessary on your form.

  • You can use the block on different processes, or behind branch logic, with different configurations to match your needs.


NB: The Enhanced Charges block will not work, and display an error message, if placed on a profile.


Configuring the fields on the block

Administrators can choose what fields to display on the charge entry form by selecting existing charge system fields or custom fields from the Field Specification list and selecting “Add” Once a fields are selected they will display in the list on the block

Administrators can configure individual fields by selecting the edit pencil to the right of the field name. Clicking the field's green checkmark after making any configuration changes will save those changes on the individual field. Without clicking that checkmark, any changes will be discarded with clicking Continue (or Save and Stay on Page).

Using the red “X” will remove the field from the active list. Using the “Clear” button will remove all the active fields from the list.

An additional element, “New Row Start” is available from the Field Specification list to allow for a new row of fields on the individual charge entry form the user is presented with. The New Row Start element can be added to the active list multiple times.

The order of the active field list can be modified by dragging an active field element up or down in the list.


Charges Listview

The Charges listview can be placed above the New Charge block or added to a case profile. Only the pencil is a link and that will open the process to make changes to the listview. Once you finish editing the Charge, you will be taken back to the Charge Profile, not the profile/form that was displaying this listview. Default filters are available for this listview, but the columns are not modifiable.

Deleting Charges

Deleting charges from a case can currently only be done by putting the Add Charges block or the Enhanced Charges block on an auxiliary form. The Enhanced charges block allows for a configuration option to show or hide the delete button.

Site administrators may have restricted access to this form. Consult with one of your site administrators.

Additional Aspects of Charges

Charge Tags

One feature that is available to identify different types of Charges is the Charge Tag lookup. This allows you to link specific tags (like "Sex Crime", "Property Crime", "Violent", etc.) with given Charges. When adding a charge to a case, charge tags can be defaulted based on the Charge, or they can be manually selected when adding the charge.



Case Credits

Case Credits is a larger feature, that can be used to identify the workload of staff attorneys based on the types of cases or the types of work that is being handled. Case credits can link to attorneys based on a charge. Defaults can be set.

Related Tables/Blocks

Custodial Status may be configured to require a related Charge.

Sentences will require a related Charge when entering a new sentence.

Services can link to Charges through a block on the Service form.

Reports

Charges are available as a subtable in reports. The Charges sub-table appears in a many to one relationship. There is also a Charge (One Row Per Matter) that concatenates the charges into two versions. The Charges column concatenates just the Charge Name. The Charges Detailed column concatenates the Charge Date, the Charge Name, and the Charge Outcome/Disposition, all separated by hyphens. For each column, each separate Charge is separated by a semicolon.