In order to arrest a suspect, the police must have "probable cause"; that is, there must be some substantive evidence linking the suspect to the alleged crime. Either immediately before or immediately after an arrest, the police must receive an arrest warrant from a judge, which will determine the initial amount of bail that the suspect will receive. This figure can later be changed at the formal bail hearing. Following any arrest, a variety of forms must be filled out to protect the suspect's Constitutional rights, physical safety, and personal property. Click on any of the hyperlinks below to see each of the forms filled out by a typical police department in the course of an arrest, and what they are for. (Note: After viewing each picture, click BACK on your viewer's menu bar to return here) Warning: These might take awhile to load, depending on the speed of your service. ALL PICTURES IN THIS SECTION WERE OBTAINED BY SCANNING ACTUAL POLICE DOCUMENTS, WITH PERMISSION OF POLICE CHIEF HARRY WILDE.
- Arrest Report - This is one of the main forms to be filled out. It contains the details of the arrest, bail, the suspect, and any other relevent information.
- Fingerprint Form - This is another one of the major forms to be filled out. Upon arrest, each suspect is fingerprinted three times: once for local police records, once for state police records, and once for FBI records. This form is used for the local and state police records; the FBI has their own fingerprint form that police are supplied with.
- Vehicle/Property Report - Whenever the police impound a car or seize personal property during an arrest or as the result of a warranted search, they are required to fill out one of these forms to ensure that the property can be returned if the suspect is found not guilty.
- Evidence Report Form - Any evidence seized by the police during an arrest or a warranted search must also be catalogued on these forms, which are sent to the prosecutor. This helps with the efficient development of a case against the suspect.
- Suicide Evaluation Form - During any interviews that police officers have with the suspect, they observe his/her behavior. Based on what they notice, the police fill out this form to estimate the probability of the suspect attempting suicide. It that is determined to be a distinct possibility, the police are required to post extra watch on the holding cell.
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