In today’s world, crimes happen every single day. Each crime is then followed by a detailed crime investigation that leads to finding out the actual preparator. Forensics has shown a vast improvement over the last few years. That is why these days, it is comparatively easy to find the actual criminal.
Due to ignorance, many people are unable to understand what crime scene investigation is all about. Here we will tell you what crime scene investigation is and what are the terms related to it.
Crime scene personnel
Initially, when a crime is committed, the following people enter the crime scene:
- Police officers
- CSI unit that documents the entire crime scene in detail
- The district attorney is there to see if any kind of search warrants are required
- Medical Examiner
- Specialists, if any expert advice is needed
- Detectives to interview the witnesses and lead to the conclusion
Often people get confused and ask what is a Civil Investigative demand as it seems similar to a criminal investigation. However, civil investigative demand is totally different as Federal agencies initiate sending notices to people accused of any wrongdoing.
In submitting a civil investigative demand, the judge’s help is not required as the agencies can execute the same.
Crime Scene protocol
Step 1 Interview– The first step in the investigation process is to interview either the witness or any other officer that is present there. This information could be factual in nature but would help the investigator in understanding the crime.
Step 2 Examine– The second step in the process is investigating the scene and finding out possible pieces of evidence. Officers will also identify points of entry and exit and outline the entire scene.
Step 3 Document-Next, you have to create a pictorial record of the scene. Basically, you have to draw the layout of the location and identify the victim’s exact position.
Step 4 Process-In the end, the crime scene technician processes the crime scene for evidence like physical and testimonial pieces of evidence. They have to collect all the pieces of evidence so that these can be sent to the laboratory for investigation.
Crime scene vocabulary
Crime scene– This is the place where the actual crime has taken place. It also includes any place where the police suspect something wrong has happened. Crime scenes can be of two types, i.e., the Primary crime scene and secondary crime scene.
The primary scene is the original location of a crime. On the other hand, the secondary crime scene may be an alternate location where additional evidence is found.
Suspect– This implies the people or one person who is suspected of committing the crime. There can be more than one suspect for a crime.
Accomplice– If the criminal is assisted in his crime by some other person, he is known as an accomplice. In case the partnership is proven, the accomplice faces the punishment too.
Alibi– Supposing the suspect can show that he was somewhere else at the time of the crime; this acts as an alibi. If the alibi is strong enough, they can absolve the suspect of the criminal charges.
Types of evidence
Obviously, evidence can also fall under different categories.
Testimonial evidence– This includes oral or written evidence from witnesses. Also, the court testimony of people who witnessed the crime falls into this category.
Physical evidence– Physical evidence is items that are present at the place where the crime occurred. It could include any items that the suspect was found to have with him.
Trace evidence– In trace evidence, we find items found in small amounts like hair, skin cells, or cloth fibers. The trace evidence can be recovered from the body or the suspect.
What does evidence do for the investigation?
- They prove that someone committed the crime
- Establish the critical aspects of the crime
- Link the suspect with the crime scene or the victim
- Find out the identity of the victim
- Prove the verbal witness authenticity
- Spare the innocent and absolve them of the crime
- Give the detectives the lead to move ahead in the case
Different types of Crime scene
Occasionally you would want to know what the different types of the crime scene are. You can divide a crime scene into three types.
- Outdoors- These are the most difficult when it comes to investigation. Exposure to elements like rain, wind, soil, and animal activity can contaminate the scene. Apart from that, the fact that the location is not correctly secured leads to further evidence getting destroyed.
Another problem is that you cannot analyze an outdoor crime scene in the nighttime. Also, if it is raining, the chances of proper investigations are further reduced.
- Indoors- Indoor crime scenes have limited chances of getting contaminated. Whatever contamination happens because of the presence of other people. There are chances that the suspect himself removes the evidence, which can be a hurdle in the investigation.
Sometimes in indoor crime scenes, the entire crime is reconstructed to see how things would have actually occurred. This makes it simple for investigators to identify the criminal.
- Conveyance- These are crime scenes where crime is conducted on the move, that is, those that utilize transportation. The common crimes in this category are robbery, grand theft, carjacking, sexual crimes, and homicide.
When they investigate such crimes, it is essential to see things outside the conveyance, too, for example, checking the footprints or tracks left by someone running away from the scene.
The crime scene is usually the place where an unfortunate incident occurred. However, there is more to it than just this simple definition. The above information will give you an idea of crime scene investigation and how it proceeds ahead.
Thanks to technology and forensics, it is no longer difficult to find who the actual culprit is.
Still, sometimes the investigation falters, and people escape from getting punished. There have been cases when the crimes were solved many years after the crime was committed. It totally depends on the manner in which they carry out the investigation, what type of lawyer to hire to solve the case and how smooth the investigation process is.