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Criminal Investigations in New Haven

There are a number of particular agencies who run criminal investigations in New Haven, Connecticut and certain steps these agencies will likely take to conduct their investigation. Read on to learn more about what can expect from the investigation process, before calling and scheduling a consultation with a New Haven defense attorney today.

State and Local Agencies Involved

There are a number of agencies tasked with investigating allegations of criminal activity in New Haven. The first of which is the New Haven Police Department. Unique to New Haven is the fact that Yale University has its own fully authorized and fully staffed police department which means there are two local police departments that each have the power to arrest someone.

In addition to the local police departments, there are also state and federal task forces which are a combination of New Haven Police, Connecticut State Police, FBI, and DEA who all work together to focus on crimes especially those involving guns and drugs.

The Investigative Team

These investigations are typically handled by a detective division. In New Haven, there is a specific unit dedicated to the investigation and prosecution of the sexual assault allegation. The primary investigation would be handled by that sexual assault unit. Beyond the police department is often the Department of Children and Family, commonly referred to as DCF. They will become involved with these types of cases, cooperate with the police investigation, provide familial background information, if there has been any previous DCF involvement, and coordinate with the police department. Those are the two main state agencies that become involved with these allegations of sexual assault.

Pre-Arrest Investigations

In the vast majority of criminal cases on-site arrests occur where the police stop an individual and find guns or drugs in their car or when a neighbor or a victim calls the police complaining of an assault and there is an on-site arrest at that time. With that said the most common type of case where an investigation may be conducted before an arrest is in narcotics cases.

In these scenarios, police will often work with confidential informants to arrange the sale of various narcotics. The informant will contact an individual to arrange a purchase of narcotics. The police search the individual prior to the transaction and place a microphone and recording device on the informant. The device may be audio or video. The authorities observe the individuals as they conduct the alleged transaction.

The police may do this on several occasions and then get an arrest warrant for the individual who supplies the drugs. They can also use these controlled purchases to obtain a search warrant to conduct a search of an individual’s home in an attempt to obtain additional evidence. Other than drug cases, the vast majority of other crimes are on-site arrests where the police stop an individual and find guns or drugs in their car. Arrests also occur when a neighbor or a victim calls the police complaining of an assault and there is an on-site arrest at that time.

Pre-Arrest Investigations

In almost any sex crime case there will be significant investigation leading to an arrest. That investigation will include obtaining any biological evidence, DNA samples, statements from the complainant, medical records from the complainant, and witness statements that may be able to aid in the investigation of the case. Typically, these investigations take a good amount of time prior to an arrest.

Post Arrest Investigations

After an arrest on a minor charge, the police will likely not continue the investigation. With that said, the prosecutors have investigators who can assist with investigations if needed to get additional statements, pictures, or supplemental reports. However, that is not typical in minor misdemeanors.

On the other hand, in cases involving more serious charges of assaults, murders, sexual assaults, the investigation is an ongoing process, so the authorities may continue with their investigation. For this reason, it is very important that you contact a lawyer to get involved. The lawyer can coordinate with the state and police to ensure that the police are not attempting to get statements from the individual or the individual is not being contacted by the police to try to get these statements.

Who the Authorities Speak to During an Investigation

The type of charge the authorities are investigating will dictate the individuals they will need to interview. If they are pursuing a claim of larceny, they will speak with the individual who claims they are the victim of theft. They may also want to speak to other witnesses. In some situations, the authorities may also contact employers, family members and friends.

Access to Online Information

Internet privacy is a very important area of law that is constantly changing. At the end of the day, police are able to get information about the online activities of a person. If it is publically shared information, they simply need to login to the site. Whether its pictures posted on Facebook or Instagram if it is publically available the police can access it. If it is not publically available, they can obtain a search warrant for the person’s Internet subscription information or the cell phone account they use to access the Internet.

For example, if they are investigating a claim that someone was selling narcotics through text messages, the police can attempt to get a warrant to search and retrieve the phone records associated with the individual. Another example of police requesting a search warrant for online activity is when there is an allegation of sexual assault and contact was initiated through Facebook or other online service.

The police obtain a search warrant for that information. The police often try to obtain electronic information such as a website history and/or text messages. These are examples of things they can access online and retrieve. They need to get a warrant to obtain this information.

Technology Issues

A recent issue with technology and search warrants is when someone is arrested and the police officer seized their phone. The police searched the contents of the individual’s phone without a warrant. The court concluded that a warrant is necessary for the authorities to search an individual’s phone. As a result, under some circumstances, it is possible to challenge the search of electronic information if the police did not get the proper warrants and exceeded their right to conduct a search of a computer or phone.