You're probably shaken up and possibly injured. You call 911 and request an officer respond. The officer arrives. The officer will ask you to provide information about yourself and what has happened.
You're probably shaken up and possibly injured. You call 911 and request an officer respond. The officer arrives. The officer will ask you to provide information about yourself and what has happened. The officer will gather all available evidence, witness and suspect(s) information. The officer may ask you to provide a written statement or, due to circumstances, obtain that at a later time. The officer may interview the suspect(s) if known and are still present.
The officer will them decide on a course of action. The officer may need to investigate further or send evidence to the lab for analysis. The officer may determine that he/she has enough probable cause to make an arrest. In some cases, the officer will have to request arrest warrants. The officer will have to interview witness(s) and suspect(s)if this hasn't already been done.
For those who like to watch shows like "NCIS" and "Criminal Minds," and see them get DNA results back in the span of a commercial break or a phone call. Well unfortunately we don't have access to an Abby Scuitto or Penelope Garcia and sometimes it can take months or years to get lab results back. We send all of our evidence to the Department of Public Safety Laboratory for testing.
For the sake of brevity we will say the responding officer has made the determination that a crime has occurred. He/she has gathered all the information and evidence and is now ready to put all the information into a report. When an officer writes a report it is a step by step account of what they have learned, and done, during the course of the investigation. The officer will then build a prosecution file. The prosecution file contains witness/suspect statements, evidence, body camera and in car videos, anything pertaining to the case and last but not least the offense report. The offense report is a story, of facts, that will tell the prosecutor exactly what happened step by step. Remember the prosecutor wasn't there.
Once the officer has written the report it is then forwarded to the appropriate prosecuting attorney. Misdemeanors are sent to the County Attorney. Felonies are sent to the District Attorney.
All felony cases must be heard by the grand jury before anything else happens. The grand jury is composed of regular citizens who listen to multiple cases and make a decision about whether the case is strong enough to warrant a trial. Unfortunately sometimes the grand jury will decide that enough evidence doesn't exist to proceed with prosecution.
A lot of time and work have passed and we still haven't been in a courtroom. The court system is filled with multiple cases and it can take years to get into a courtroom.
So as you can see it takes time to prosecute people for crimes and once the officer submits his report, it is out of his hands. We, as officers, understand the victim frustrations and are constantly asked "Why is he/she out of jail already?" "What is taking so long?" Well the short answer is, these are the rights afforded to each and every citizen by the constitution.