Police Must Have Approval For Felony Charges
Although police have the authority to charge citizens with traffic offenses and misdemeanor criminal offenses, felony cases are a different matter. If the police officer believes that a felony crime has been committed and enhanced charges are warranted, he or she must submit the information to the relevant countys States Attorneys Office for approval first. Generally, the police will contact the Felony Review section of the States Attorneys Office, usually while the offender is still in custody. Then, whether by phone or in person, the officer will set out the facts and evidence that they believe warrant such a serious charge. The States Attorney may decide to speak to witnesses first or may make a determination solely based upon the information provided by the police. Although the prosecutor may decide that the facts do satisfy the requirements for a felony, he or she may also decide to withhold approval for any number of reasons, including the offenders lack of previous criminal history.
What Are The Defenses For An Assault Charge
The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure allows for certain legal defenses against a criminal charge of assault or aggravated assault, and if we are unable to argue that you did not commit the assault, we may choose one of those affirmative defenses.
First, we can explore defenses that include disputing whether or not any assault in the legal sense took place or if the court can sufficiently prove it took place. And if there is evidence of an assault, what is the evidence that you committed it? Eyewitness testimony can be questioned if that is the supporting basis for the assault charge.
Alternately, an affirmative defense a defense in which you admit doing it, but argue that you had a legal reason in an assault case could be that you believed the assault was necessary to prevent the person from harming you or someone else or to prevent the person from stealing your property.
Contact us for a criminal case evaluation on any charge of assault in the state of Texas. We can help you assess your options and let you know what we can do to help you.
Prosecutors Press Criminal Charges Not Victims
Victims play an important role in the charging process, often providing key evidence and testimony. In the above situation, the victim would likely give a statement to police regarding what happened. But it will be up to a government prosecutor, not the victim, to decide whether to file criminal charges against the suspect. Several reasons exist for this system of decision making.
Crime Impacts the Public
Crimes affect more than individual victims they impact the community as a wholeits sense of safety and well-being. Just as city, county, state, and federal law enforcement protect the public and investigate crimes, society uses public attorneys to prosecute criminal actors. Depending on where you live, prosecutors might be referred to as district attorneys, state attorneys, city prosecutors, assistant attorneys, commonwealth attorneys, or something similar.
Prosecutors’ Responsibilities and Ethical Duties
Prosecutors have an ethical duty to see that justice is donewhich doesn’t necessarily mean winning a case. A prosecutor must consider the needs of the victim and society and make decisions based on the facts, the evidence, and the law. Prosecutors must also weigh the potential harm in wrongly pursuing a case or pursuing a case too soon.
Accountability and Impartiality
Read Also: Can You File Insurance Claim Without Police Report
Winter Storm Warning From Wed : 00 Pm Cst Until Thu : 00 Pm Cst
...Winter Storm tonight into Thursday...Heavy Snow Likely....Snow will begin to push into I-90 corridor in southern Minnesotathis evening, spreading northeast through the rest of the night.The snow is likely to be heaviest overnight, with rates of 1 to2" per hour possible across southern Minnesota and westernWisconsin. 5 to 8 inches are likely in the Winter Storm Warning,with lesser amounts expected in the Winter Weather Advisory.Northeast winds will turn more northerly on Thursday. Wind gustsbetween 20 to 25 mph are possible. Some minor blowing snow ispossible along the I-90 corridor, but it is not expected to be asignificant impact with this event. The snow will gradually endfrom southwest to northeast on Thursday....WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 3 PMCST THURSDAY...* WHAT...Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 4 to 7inches.* WHERE...Blue Earth, Waseca, Steele, Faribault and FreebornCounties.* WHEN...From 6 PM this evening to 3 PM CST Thursday.* IMPACTS...Travel could be very difficult. The hazardousconditions could impact the morning commute.PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water inyour vehicle in case of an emergency.The latest road conditions for the state you are calling from canbe obtained by calling 5 1 1. Road conditions can also be foundat 511mn.org for Minnesota or 511wi.gov for Wisconsin.& &
Seek Restraining Order Protection
Recommended Reading: How To Sue A Police Officer
Can Police Misconduct Lead To Criminal Prosecution
Police agency misconduct can be so egregious that it leads to criminal prosecution. The officer can be charged with a crime.18
Criminal charges against police for misconduct are rare. They often only come after truly outrageous conduct, such as severe police brutality, sexual assault, police shootings, or planting evidence. They tend to only be filed after the victim or his or her family file a lawsuit and begin to uncover damning evidence.
Lodge A Complaint About Police Misconduct
You may lodge a complaint with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate if you want them to investigate:
- deaths in police custody
- deaths as a result of police actions
- any complaint relating to the discharge of an official firearm by any police officer
- rape by a police officer, whether the police officer is on or off duty
- rape of any person while in police custody
- any complaint of torture or assault against a police officer in the execution of duties.
You must open a case at your nearest police station and only report to the IPID Office if the police fail to assist you.
Find out more about lodging a complaint or contact the Independent Police Investigative Directorate on 012 399 0000.
Read Also: When Are Police Reports Available
Recommended Reading: How To File A Lawsuit Against A Police Department
The Prosecutor For Criminal And Penal Prosecutions Decides Whether To Formally Accuse The Suspect Of A Crime
In a criminal trial, the decision to prosecute belongs to the prosecutor of criminal and penal prosecutions, not the victim or the police. The prosecutor makes that decision after analyzing the evidence in the police investigation file.
Criminal and penal prosecutions attorneys are commonly called prosecutors or Crown prosecutors. They are lawyers who prosecute the accused on behalf of the government and act in the public interest. Although they do not represent victims, they still must consider the rights and interests of each victim.
If the prosecutor decides to authorize charges against a suspect, that person is formally charged and becomes the accused. This step marks the beginning of court proceedings. The accused must then appear before a judge for the first time. After that, the victim is sent a letter stating the accuseds name and the crimes that the accused faces.
Filing Charges With The Police And Prosecutor
Read Also: How To Track Police Cars With Gps
How To Press Charges For An Assault
When you have made the decision to file charges after an assault, you need to visit your local police department. For whatever reason, if you are not physically able to visit the police station, you may call them over the phone.
All you have to do to kickstart the process is express that you want to press charges. From there, the authorities will request follow-up information from you in order to accurately fill out the assault report. Generally, this information includes:
- The victims name
- The date and time that it occurred
- How it occurred
In many assault situations, the victim does not know their assailant in this case, the authorities will simply ask for descriptions of them. Throughout this initial process, the person filing charges may need to release any information about potential witnesses, as well as details in writing.
And while your memory of the incident is pivotal, dont let a lack of memory deter you from turning someone in for the crime. After filing the charges, remember to keep a record of the assault report, as well as maintain the integrity of any evidence you have in your possession that could help the authorities.
Who Can Press Charges Against Me
Despite what you may have seen on your entertainment screens, a private citizen cant press charges against you. The United States doesnt provide an avenue for private prosecutions only the public law enforcement system can criminally charge a person.
However, a private citizen can collaborate with law enforcement officers to provide physical evidence and critical testimony against you. Once the law enforcement officers have enough evidence, they can file criminal charges against you in the appropriate court. Dont face the prosecution alone but let a Los Angeles criminal investigation attorney create a solid defense case for you.
Don’t Miss: How Long Is The Police Academy In Arizona
How Do Police Decide Whether To Press Charges
But this police-power cuts both ways. Although it will often weed out the crazy cases that should never result in arrest, it can just as easily eliminate valid cases that really should be pressed and be sent to court. Every case deserves a thorough investigation to determine which path to take, but unfortunately this is not always the reality in Chicago and many other cities across Illinois. Some of the things that police will often consider in making such a determination include:
Roles Of The Prosecutor And Grand Jury In Charging Decisions
A prosecutor reviews the police report and determines whether the government can proceed with the charges. The prosecutor must determine whether the government can, with the available evidence, prevail at trial. To win at trial, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubta standard of proof much higher than probable causethat the accused committed the crime. Prosecutors have a duty to seek justice, not convictions. If the evidence doesn’t support a conviction, the prosecutor should not file charges.
In some states, the prosecutor files criminal charges against the defendant, which must then be reviewed by a judge. The judge provides a second set of eyes to prevent the filing of unfounded charges. This review hearing is often referred to as a probable cause or preliminary hearing. Other states require the prosecutor to present the evidence to a grand jury, which will decide if enough evidence exists to proceed to trial. If so, the grand jury issues an indictment , which formally charges the accused and starts the criminal trial.
Also Check: How To Find My Police Report Number
Am I A Victim Of Crime
Information about these crimes is available through the Office of Victims of Crime.
If you are in immediate danger, or have been a victim of a crime, please call 911.
If you are unsure if you have been the victim of a crime, the NYPD encourages you to visit your local precinct and speak to a police officer to discuss the details of your situation.
Yes. As a crime victim, you have rights granted by federal and state law. Learn more about your rights through the Office of Victim Services .
How To Press Charges On A Chicago Criminal Case
Youve been the victim of a crime in Chicago and want to make sure that the responsible party is brought to justice. So, you contact the local Chicago Police District Station to make a report. Maybe theyll send out a Chicago Police officer to take the report or depending upon the circumstances, the dispatcher may ask you to come into the station to make the report in person. What happens next can easily vary from police location to location and from officer to officer. In Chicago, initial reports can also be made online at .
On clearly serious criminal matters such as sexual assault, aggravated battery, domestic violence, drug offenses or a shooting, the Chicago Police will typically not only take a report but if possible, will make an immediate arrest of the accused if the facts seem straightforward enough and the offender can be promptly found and identified. If a police officer was a witness to the criminal or traffic offense, or was in fact the victim of the offense, an arrest will be immediately made as well. Other times, an investigation may be warranted and the case first assigned to an area police detective for further action and questioning of suspects or the accused before an arrest will be made.
Read Also: How To Know If You Are Being Watched By Police
Assault Battery And Use Of Excessive Force By Police Officers
A police officer using excessive or unnecessary force during arrest or other situation might lead to a criminal charge of assault.
Police officers are allowed to use reasonable force when making arrests or carrying out their duties in some cases, where an individual resists arrest or assaults a police officer, restraints such as a Taser might be used. However, such methods must be used so as not to cause intentional injury to a person being arrested.
However, incidences of police officers using excessive force do occur and in some cases, people have suffered serious injury or lost their life as a result.
Duncan Lewis Action Against Public Authorities solicitors can advise those who have experienced excessive force at the hands of the police on how to make a formal complaint to the police force in question as well as advising on appeals to the Independent Office for Police Conduct and judicial review of police and IOPC decisions.
Duncan Lewis is also able to advise the families of those who have been critically injured and cannot act for themselves or bereaved families whose loved one has lost their life as a result of assault or excessive use of force by the police on making a formal complaint and personal injury claim against the police.
There is a 12-month limitation period for making complaints to the police. For complaints made out of this time period, there must be a good reason for the delay.