Featured News 2016 What Happens After the Criminal Act

What Happens After the Criminal Act

What happens after someone commits a crime? Once a crime is committed, what follows is the preliminary investigation. Usually, someone calls the police or 911 and officers arrive at the scene. If there is an emergency, for instance, if someone was injured, they will be transported to the hospital.

Once the scene is secured, the officers will begin their investigation. Witnesses will be questioned, and if there is a victim, the officers will interview him or her in person and ask them questions about the incident. If there is a suspect at the scene, he or she will be detained and questioned, then the officers will either release the suspect or initiate an arrest.

The preliminary investigation may include:

  • Photographing the scene of the crime
  • Making a video recording
  • Interviewing eyewitnesses
  • Interviewing the victim
  • Measuring the scene
  • Sketching of the scene
  • Recording officers' observations
  • Collecting and processing physical evidence, such as a weapon, DNA, and fingerprints

Follow-Up Investigations

Even when there is a thorough preliminary investigation, law enforcement usually needs to conduct a follow-up investigation in order to narrow down suspects, compare DNA evidence, interview more witnesses, recover weapons, and arrest a suspect.

The follow-up investigation may be conducted by the same officers that responded to the call, or it may be handled by a detective assigned to the case. Often, good leads are hunted down or found later on in an investigation and the detectives need to find out who might have wanted to hurt the victim, or who had access to stolen property, or who would have benefited from the crime.

Once the law enforcement agency has finished investigating a case, the agency may submit the case to the prosecutor for criminal prosecution. If there is sufficient evidence against a suspect, the DA may decide to file charges, they may decide to file different or additional charges, or they may reject the case for lack of sufficient evidence.

Are you under investigation for a crime? If so, contact a criminal defense attorney to see if you can avoid having formal charges filed in the first place!

Related News:

Define the Law: Identity Theft

With the advent of the internet, it is a lot easier to obtain someone’s personal information. Many people plug their credit card information, Social Security number, name, address, and phone ...
Read More »

Is The Sexting Craze Cultural or Criminal?

CBS news reports that in July 2010, 10 Pennsylvanian high school students felt the weight of their actions when they were all sentenced with felony charges for child pornography. What had they done? ...
Read More »

Missing Children in Iowa: Parents Targeted as Suspects

In many child kidnapping cases, the first to be suspected are the parents. This is in part because the parents are in such close contact with the child, and may kidnap partially out of love and ...
Read More »