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When a Crime is Committed

What happens when a crime is committed:

  • The victim of the crime can meet with the police at the scene of the crime, either by having called the police, or someone else calling the police.
  • If the police arrive, and the victim and abuser are still there, the police take statements from both parties and can make an arrest immediately.
  • If the police arrive, and the abuser has left the scene, the police can take a statement from the victim and may issue a warrant for the defendant.
  • Or, the victim of the crime can go to the police department after the incident and make a report there.  An officer on duty at the department will review the complaint at that time and decide if they will authorize charges against the abuser.
  • Or, the victim can attempt to go to the prosecutor’s office and file a citizen’s complaint form for the prosecutor to review.
  • Some jurisdictions do not allow complaints to go through the prosecutor’s office. The victim may call the prosecutor’s office if they are interested in filing a citizen’s complaint to see if complaints are permitted.
  • If the victim is going through to go to the prosecutor’s office to file a citizen’s complaint form, Genesis House Legal Advocates can meet her there and walk her through that process.

Once an arrest has been made, the defendant is taken to jail.  Each community has a different policy on defendants posting bond and bond amounts. The bond is meant to guarantee the defendant’s appearance in court, not as a punishment.


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