What happens if I report to the police?
- You will talk to a Waukehsa police officer on the phone or in person (262) 524-3831; 1901 Delafield St. Waukesha, WI 53188.
- They will ask you for some of the details of the incident including who, what, where, and when. You may choose which questions you answer. However, the amount of information you are able to give may determine whether the Department can file a criminal charge.
- The police officer(s) may ask you several questions and then ask you to talk to another police officer. This is because there are patrol officers, who act as the first responders, and then there are special units that handle different cases, including detectives and the sensitive crimes unit.
- The police officer may ask you questions that make you feel like they don't believe you.
- Unfortunately, this is the experience of many victims. However, it is not because an officer doesn't believe you that they ask you questions, it is an attempt to understand, not to blame.
- Example: An officer may ask if you were intoxicated at the time of the incident. This question isn't meant to blame you or rationalize what happened, rather the answer may inform how the police proceed in their investigation.
- Example: An officer may ask if you had previous sexual relations with the person who committed the misconduct/crime. This question does not justify the respondent's behavior or raise questions about your character, rather it helps understand the dynamic between a victim and perpetrator, and therefore how to proceed with the investigation.
- If the officers assigned to the case determine there is enough initial evidence to recommend the case for prosecution, then the District Attorney's Office will review the case. If the District Attorney's office agrees that there is enough evidence, they will file a criminal complaint. The criminal complaint lists what a person is charged with and includes the date of Initial Appearance in Court.
- According to Wisconsin Statute Chapter 950, you have the right to be informed of court proceedings and whether there is the option of a plea bargain.
- The initial appearance will end in one of two ways: either a plea of guilty or no contest, where the criminal defendant comes to an agreement with the District Attorney about the charge and sentencing. The step after that is sentencing. If, however, the criminal defendant pleads "not guilty" or "not guilty by reason of mental disease," then the court will schedule a series of hearings, status conferences, and if the case is not dismissed, a trial. If the criminal defendant is found guilty, then the court will also schedule a sentencing hearing.
- According to Wisconsin Statutes 950.04(1v)(m) and 972.14(3)(a), victims of crime have the right to provide a victim witness impact statement at sentencing either in person or in writing to be read during the hearing.
For more information on understanding the criminal justice system, click here.
Depending on the location of the incident, you may be redirected to a police department in another county. If you have questions about which county in which to report the incident, call the Wisconsin Office of Crime Victim Services, toll free, (800) 446-6564, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or click here.
Note: You may contact The Waukesha Women's Center Legal Advocate (confidential) 262-547-4600 or 262-896-8243 or Carroll's Office of Victim Services (262) 524-7099, or LBruk@carrollu.edu (not confidential) if you want assistance in the criminal reporting process.