Investigations & Charging

1.What do I do if I just had a crime committed against me?

Get to a safe place and immediately call 9-1-1 or the police department in the town in which the crime occurred. File a police report giving as many details as possible about what occurred, when, where, who was present, what was said, how you can be contacted, etc. The police will investigate the crime and will bring it to the attention of the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office for possible criminal charges, and the police will make an arrest, if appropriate. Always call the police first.

2.Who investigates a crime?

The police department in the jurisdiction where the crime occurred investigate the crime. When the police believe they have enough evidence to make an arrest they bring the information to the Lake County State’s Attorney's Felony Review Division to file charges. The State’s Attorney’s Office does not investigate crimes. That is the duty of the police.

3.Who determines what crime to charge the defendant?

In the case of a felony, the Lake County State’s Attorney Felony Review Division prosecutors review information supplied by the investigating police department and determines which criminal charges best apply under the Illinois Compiled Statutes for Criminal Law.

Misdemeanor charges are determined by the investigating police department, except in certain situations where they are reviewed by the State’s Attorney’s Office. As misdemeanor cases are being prosecuted, the assistant state’s attorney on the case may file different or additional charges.

4.What is an Indictment?

An Indictment is when the Grand Jury finds probable cause to charge the defendant.

5.What is an Arraignment?

An Arraignment is held at which time the defendant is present and formally charged with the crime and informed of his legal rights. Most defendants charged with violent felony crimes will plead not guilty initially at the arraignment date and be given future court dates to appear.