Criminal Investigation CRJ141. Matthew McCarty

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1 Criminal Investigation CRJ141 Matthew McCarty

2 Chapter 1 Criminal Investigation: An Overview

3

4 CSI Effect The exaggerated depiction of how television forensic science operates, creating a phenomenon in which the public have unrealistic expectations of the police and prosecutors in a criminal case

5 Criminal Investigation Defined: Seeking all facts associated with a crime to determine the truth, what happened, and who is responsible.

6 What is a Crime? Crime: an act in violation of penal law Severity or Degree of a crime and it s punishment may have underlying factors such as value of property, severity of injury, or if weapons were used Criminal Statute: legislative act relating to a crime and its punishment State laws Ordinance: an act of a legislative body relating to all the rules governing the municipality or county City or county laws Closely resemble if not exact to state laws Usually only Simple Misdemeanor crimes Ordinance may be more strict than state law but not less

7 State law example: Criminal Mischief Iowa code Any damage, defacing, alteration, or destruction of property is criminal mischief when done intentionally by one who has no right to so act Severity of punishment for criminal mischief is set by property value 1 st Degree- C Felony: Value $10,000 or more 2 nd Degree- D Felony: Value $1,000-$10,000 3 rd Degree- Aggravated Misdemeanor: Value $500-$1,000 4 th Degree- Serious Misdemeanor: Value $200-$500 5 th Degree- Simple Misdemeanor: Value less than $200

8 City Ordinance Example: Criminal Mischief West Des Moines City Code It shall be a simple misdemeanor punishable as provided in section of this chapter to commit an act of criminal mischief as defined in Iowa Code section 716.1, which is adopted by reference, in which the cost of repairing, replacing, or restoring the property damaged, defaced, or destroyed does not exceed two hundred dollars ($200.00).

9 Crime Classifications In Iowa Iowa Code Simple Misdemeanor Maximum punishment of incarceration for 30 days and/or a fine between $65-$625 Serious Misdemeanor Maximum punishment of incarceration for 1 year and/or a fine between $350-$1875 Aggravated Misdemeanor Maximum punishment of incarceration for 2 years and a fine between $625-$6250

10 Crime Classifications In Iowa Iowa Code D Felony Maximum punishment of incarceration for 5 years and a fine between $750-$7,500 C Felony Maximum punishment of incarceration for 10 years and a fine between $1000-$10,000 B Felony Maximum punishment of incarceration for 25 years A Felony Maximum punishment of incarceration for 99 years (Life sentence) Note: Certain crimes may have mandatory minimum fines or incarceration periods

11 Statute of limitations Amount of time from which a crime was committed to when it can be prosecuted. Time period starts when crime is committed Felonies, Aggravated Misdemeanors, and Serious Misdemeanors have a three year statute of limitations in Iowa. Simple Misdemeanors have a one year statute of limitations in Iowa. Certain crimes have a different statute of limitations. Murder has no statute of limitations in Iowa Sexual abuse of a minor has a statute of limitations of 10 years after the victim turns 18 years old in Iowa.

12 Additional Terms Elements of the crime: Must exist as defined by law for the act to be considered a violation of the law Example: For the charge of burglary an element of the crime would be the entering of a structure Corpus Delicti: Body of the crime Evidence of the elements of a crime. This must be proven by prosecutors. Example: Pry marks on a door would be Corpus Delicti evidence of a burglary Modus Operandi (MO): The method of operation or how the criminal operates. Exculpatory Evidence: Evidence favorable for the accused that may prove their innocence Criminal Intent: Purposely committing an illegal act and knowing the act they are committing is illegal Intent is not a required element in all crimes. Negligence may be an element of some crimes. Negligence is creating a situation or allowing a situation to be created causing a risk to life, safety, or property.

13 Civil Issues Any act that is not defined by a criminal statue or ordinance is not a crime and may be referred to as a Civil Issue Penalties and consequences may be imposed through a civil court process Examples: Child custody agreements and child support Joint property disagreements (i.e. jointly owned vehicles) Landlord/tenant disputes (i.e. failing to pay rent) Building code violations (i.e. prohibited junk vehicles on property) Information and evidence obtained in a criminal investigation can also be used in civil lawsuits.

14 Goals of a Criminal Investigation Determine if a crime has been committed Determine suspects of the crime using information and evidence Arrest suspect Recover stolen property/contraband Present the best case possible to prosecutor

15 Functions of Investigator Photograph, videotape, and sketch crime scene Locate and process all physical evidence including exculpatory evidence Identify suspects Interview witnesses and suspects Obtain search or arrest warrants if needed Conduct raids or surveillance Testify in court

16 Effective Investigator Characteristics Knowledgeable Creative Persistent Patient Objective Strong common sense

17 First Officers at Crime Scene Normally the first Investigators on scene will be Patrol Officers Responding to 911 call Officer observed crime Report taken in person The actions of this Officer is very important to the success of the investigation The Officer needs to arrive as quickly as possible

18 Duties of First Officer at the Scene Observe any vehicles or pedestrians leaving the area while responding to the crime scene Apprehend suspect if they are still at the scene Coordinate response of additional Officers Provide description and direction of travel for the fleeing suspect to other responding Officers if possible Provide any needed emergency care until relieved by more qualified medical personnel. Oversee medical care to ensure medical personnel do not accidently destroy evidence. Locate witnesses and take initial statements Protect crime scene and evidence Conduct preliminary investigation Request any additional resources needed Detectives, Medical Examiner, Identification Unit

19 Preliminary Investigation Determine what crime, if any, has been committed Question victims, witnesses, and suspects Conduct a neighborhood canvas for potential witnesses and suspects Measure, photograph, videotape, and sketch crime scene Search for evidence Identify, collect, examine, and process physical evidence Record all statements and observations in notes Prepare and complete an initial incident report

20 Follow Up Investigation Further investigation may be needed and done away from the crime scene. This can be done hours, days, or weeks later. Generally follow up investigations are done by Detectives or other investigators and not by the responding uniformed Officer. Examples of follow up investigation duties: Interview witnesses or suspects again Obtain search or arrest warrants Coordinate with other involved agencies such as State Medical Examiner or prosecuting attorney

21 Specialized Assistance During an investigation investigators with specialized skills may be needed Criminalist: (aka crime scene technician or identification technician) A person with specialized training in the locating, collecting, interpretation, and preserving physical evidence. Criminalists receive training in areas of Forensic Science. Forensic Science: Broad field of science which applies science to the law and investigations. There are a large number of disciplines included in forensic science including: Photography Toxicology (Study of poisons) Pathology (Study of diseases) Crime Analyst: Uses crime trend data to determine a criminal s Modus Operandi (MO) and possible future locations/times of crime.

22 Crime Mapping Sample

23 Why Specialized Investigators Are Needed Wherever he steps, whatever he touches, whatever he leaves, even unconsciously, will serve as a silent witness against him. Not only his fingerprints or his footprints, but his hair, the fibers from his clothes, the glass he breaks, the tool mark he leaves, the paint he scratches, the blood or semen he deposits or collects. All of these and more, bear mute witness against him. This is evidence that does not forget. It is not confused by the excitement of the moment. It is not absent because human witnesses are. It is factual evidence. Physical evidence cannot be wrong, it cannot perjure itself, it cannot be wholly absent. Only human failure to find it, study and understand it, can diminish its value. Dr. Edmond Locard (France, )

24 Major Crime Scenes May require setting up a command center When many investigators are involved this provides a central location to reviewed gathered information about the case Major Case Task Forces If a crime or series of crimes involves more than one jurisdiction a task force including members from each agency effected can be formed to conduct the investigation. The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) Multi-country database containing information on stolen property and internationally wanted fugitives News Media The news media receives information from citizens or from listening to police radio scanners the news media can arrive at a crime scene quickly Balance must be maintained between the publics right to know and protecting the integrity of the investigation A good relationship with the news media can benefit your investigation. The media has the power to broadcast information to a large number of people very quickly. Most departments utilize a Public Information Officer as a primary contact person with the media

25 Relationships and Responsibilities Dispatchers- Receive initial report of incident via telephone and dispatch appropriate personnel (PD, EMS, FD). Uniformed Patrol Officers- Respond to scene quickly and conduct preliminary investigation. Request investigator or detective if needed otherwise conduct full investigation. Detective- Take charge of crime scene and oversee investigation. Complete any follow up investigation that is needed. Prosecutor s Staff- (State/County Attorney) Provide advice and recommendations on appropriate charges and relevance of evidence. Prosecute case at trial. Defense Counsel- Attorney that represents accused at trial. All questions received by Officers or Detectives by the defense counsel should be referred to the Prosecutor. Medical Examiner- (Coroner) Complete investigation of a dead body and perform an autopsy. Coordinate with investigators concerning any evidence found during process and determine Cause of death.

26 Relationships and Responsibilities Forensic Crime Laboratories- Process physical evidence and provide analysis/evaluation of the evidence. In Iowa the Forensic Crime Laboratory is maintained and staffed by the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). This laboratory is located in Ankeny Iowa. Media- Provide news coverage of a crime and present it to the public by TV, Radio, and News Papers. The media may also be used to relay information and assistance needed by investigators to the public. Victims and Witnesses- During the investigative process these individuals should be kept advised of the status of the investigation and any further assistance needed by investigators. Victims and Witnesses should also be given referrals for any assistance they may need such as counseling or reimbursement for damages. A good working relationship between all of these groups will lead to a better investigation. All groups are seeking the same goal of finding the truth.

27 Community Policing A philosophy that emphasizes the importance of the police and the public working together to accomplish what neither can accomplish working alone In 1829, Sir Robert Peel stated that the police are the public and the public are the police. A good working relationship with the public increases trust in Law Enforcement. With a higher trust more of the public will cooperate with investigations and provide information and assistance when asked

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