What Happens After A Crime Is Committed?
– SW, Texas
First, the police determine whether or not a crime may have been committed. The police may observe what they believe to be a crime being committed such as speeding or seeing someone hitting another person.
The police next investigate by talking to witnesses or gathering potential other evidence such as alleged drugs. The police determine if there is probable cause to think that based on an initial investigation that a crime has been committed. This might consist of doing a field test to determine if there is an illegal substance present.
After the police determine there is probable cause, the police will present their preliminary report to a judge. If the judge agrees, then the person is formally charged. For misdemeanors, an attorney will review the offense reports and file a piece of paper called an information.
The information states the crime the person is alleged to have committed and is what would have be proven at trial. For felonies an attorney will also review the material provided and then present the material to a grand jury. If the grand jury agrees with the prosecutor then they will return an indictment.
The indictment states the crime the person is alleged to have committed and is what would have be proven at trial. Eventually the case will be resolved by dismissal, a plea bargain or a trial.
If you are under investigation by local, county or state police, the sooner you speak with an Austin Criminal Attorney, the better.
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