Question: Can you discuss the process of a criminal investigation in Oklahoma? What are the steps involved?
Answer: A criminal investigation can begin in several different ways. The most common way for a criminal investigation to proceed; one way is when the police actually witness a criminal act such as a traffic violation or a drug transaction. When this occurs, the police can investigate the crime right then and there. They’re the witnesses to the crime, they make an on-scene arrest of the suspect, they fill out the reports, they send those reports to the prosecuting attorney, and then the process just moves from there.
Another way for a criminal investigation to proceed is when a citizen contacts the police about filing a report or making a complaint against somebody who has done something to them. In those instances, the police will take a statement or a report from the complaining witness; they might go to the scene, they might attempt to speak with the person who has committed the crime, and they’ll review any other evidence that’s brought to their attention. Once they have completed their investigation, at that point if they feel like a crime has been committed, they will turn that over to the prosecuting authority and then let them take the matter from there.