If you have been accused of being involved in a crime, you’ll want to understand what’s going to happen next. There are numerous steps of a criminal investigation. A case must be investigated, built, taken to trial, and should the accused be found guilty, the penalties must be determined. Below we outline the first half of what happens following a crime. The second portion will be covered in a later post.
Following a Crime – the Pre-Arrest Investigation
A pre-arrest investigation is done following a suspected criminal activity. Once law enforcement is made aware that a criminal activity has occurred, they must investigate what happened before an arrest can be made. Following the investigation, if law enforcement determines evidence that reveals a crime was committed, they must make steps to try and identify a suspect. Once a suspect is identified, law enforcement may arrest the suspect. Depending on where the crime occurred, law enforcement might be required to first present evidence of the crime to a prosecuting attorney.