Law and What You Need to Know

  1. Arrest

Agencies

New York City Police Department

  1. Report
    1. The victim of a crime files a complaint report with the police.
      1. Depending on where the crime occurred, you may report the crime to agencies such as the MTA police, State Police, or Port Authority Police. Otherwise, contact your local precinct as soon as possible.
      2. Locate the nearest precinct to you.
    For any crime in progress, please call 911 immediately. If possible, provide an exact location and details of the crime to the dispatcher.
  2. Investigation
    1. Once the NYPD has received the complaint report, an investigation may be conducted to gather more information.
    2. Investigations may include, but are not limited to:
      1. Looking for a suspect
      2. Collecting evidence
      3. Interviewing witnesses
    If you have any questions about the status of your case, please call the precinct that took your complaint report.
  3. Arrest
    1. An arrest will be made if a suspect is identified and there is probable cause to believe the suspect committed the crime. When a suspect is arrested he/she may be searched, transported to the precinct, and in some cases fingerprinted, and photographed at the precinct.
    2. For certain offenses, the suspect might not be brought directly to court from the precinct. If eligible, a Desk Appearance Ticket (D.A.T.) may be issued, requiring the individual to appear in court at a future date to answer the charges against him/her. Eligibility will generally be dependent, in part, by having photographic identification.
    3. District Attorney’s Office
      1. After an officer makes an arrest, he/she will present information about the case to the District Attorney’s Office. The District Attorney’s Office will then determine whether to file charges against the suspect.
      2. If the District Attorney’s Office decides not to file charges, the suspect will be released.
      If you have any questions regarding a case where you were a victim, once it has been referred by the police to the District Attorney’s office, please contact the Assistant District Attorney (A.D.A.) assigned to your case.
    4. Filing Charges
      1. If the District Attorney’s Office decides to file charges against a suspect, the charges will be presented in front of a judge for an arraignment.
      2. Please note that although the District Attorney’s Office will handle your case, they prosecute on behalf of the State of New York in Criminal Court or Supreme Court, not on behalf of individuals.
    5. Defense Attorney
      1. All suspects being charged with a crime have the right to be represented by an attorney.
      2. The suspect can hire an attorney, or if he/she cannot afford an attorney, the court will provide one.
      3. Suspects’ Defense Attorneys sometimes contact victims about their case. [You] do not have to talk to defense attorneys or their investigators and [you] are encouraged to contact the prosecutor if [you] have any concerns about such requests.
    6. Arraignment After the Arrest
      1. After the arrest, the defendant is taken before a judge of the Criminal Court of the City of New York for an arraignment.
      2. At this time, the defendant can plead guilty or not guilty to the charges against him/her. If a defendant pleads guilty, the court may impose a sentence immediately, or set a future court date for that purpose.
      3. Upon or after arraignment, the court may issue an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD), which postpones or “adjourns” the case to a later date. Obtaining an ACD does not mean the defendant didn’t commit the crime. There are usually conditions placed upon the ACD which the defendant must comply with prior to the case being dismissed, such as not engaging in any illegal activity or participating in a relevant program. An ACD does not require the defendant to admit his or her guilt. However, if the defendant does not meet all of the conditions put in place by the court, the case goes back before the judge to be adjudicated.
      4. An Order of Protection may be issued at this time at the request of the Assistant District Attorney.
    7. Bail
      1. Depending on a number of factors, a defendant may go to jail, may receive bail or may be released on his/her own recognizance while the case is pending.
        1. If a defendant cannot post bail, he/she will be detained in jail.
        2. Defendants who can post bail or are released on their own recognizance will be given a date to appear in court. Failure to appear at this court date will result in a bench warrant for the defendant’s arrest.
    8. Grand Jury (Felony cases only)
      1. The Assistant District Attorney (A.D.A.) presents the evidence against the defendant to the grand jury. The defendant may also testify before the grand jury.
      2. The grand jury then decides if there is enough evidence to bring the case to trial.
        1. If the grand jury decides there is enough evidence, an indictment is issued.
    9. Arraignment on Indictment (Felony cases only)
      1. After the indictment, the defendant is arraigned in the New York City Criminal Court.
      2. At this time, with the assistance of a defense attorney, the defendant may enter a plea of guilty or not guilty to the charges against him/her.
      3. The judge has the right to accept or reject a guilty plea that is submitted by the defendant.
        1. If the guilty plea is accepted, there is no trial and the defendant will be sentenced. Sentencing can be right away or set for a later court date.
      4. If the defendant pleads not guilty, a date will be set for a trial.
      5. At this time, a temporary Order of Protection may be issued at the request of the Assistant District Attorney, which will be in place while the case is pending. And a final order will be issued upon a plea or conviction.

https://nycourts.gov/courthelp/GoingToCourt/glossary.shtml

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