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TOP CHARGE

Data Element: TOP CHARGE
Definition: A representation of a law which specifies the most serious charge at a particular event (arrest, arraignment, and disposition).
Standard of Verification: Agency records in conjunction with DCJS top charge algorithm.
Data Type: AN
Field Size: 22
Field Format: Attempt Indicator should be 1AN under the 22-character coding structure on the first PAGE: and also under the 14 character coding structure on the second sheet.
Law Title 3AN
Article & Section 9AN
Subsection 6AN
Statutory Class 1AN
Category 1AN
Degree 1N
Attempt Indicator 1A
Originating Teams: Courts
User Teams: Corrections, Courts and Law Enforcement
Tables / Codes: DCJS Charge Code Table. Available upon request from DCJS.
For Attempt Indicator:
A - Attempted
C - Completed
Comments: Statutory Class and Category should always be reported as though the offense were a completed act. For attempts, the Attempt Indicator should be reported as "A." For completed acts, the Attempt Indicator should be reported as "C."
The INCIDENT/OCCURRENCE DATE (LAW ENFORCEMENT) should be referenced to determine whether the charge was in effect on the date of the crime.
The 22-character charge code format has been defined for all new systems and system modifications. This format expands the Article and Section field from 5 characters to 9 characters and the Subsection field from 2 characters to 6 characters to accommodate Non-State and Non-Penal laws. DCJS plans to convert its automated systems to the 22-character format, however, DJS has agreed to support both the 14-character charge code (see below) and the 22-character charge code pending adoption of the new format by local agencies.
14-character coding structure:
Law Title 3AN
Article and Section 5AN
Subsection 2AN
Statutory Class 1AN
Category 1AN
Attempt Indicator 1N
Degree 1N
See Appendix A for supporting documentation.
The top charge is determined by an algorithm developed and maintained by DCJS.
Page Info: DATE STANDARD ESTABLISHED: 9/90
DATE STANDARD REVISED: 2/91
DATE STANDARD REVISED: 8/99