If an individual chooses to file a report, the first responders to the call are called Beat Officers or Patrol Officers. They will either bring the individual to the emergency room (ER) or, if preferred, be called by the hospital when the individual comes to the ER. The Beat Officers assure the individual's safety, secure the scene of the assault, gather information that will help in apprehending the assailant (description of the assailant, approximate location of the assault, time of the assault), put out an alert for apprehending the assailant, transport the individual to the hospital, and call the violent crimes detectives. Interviews with the beat officers will most likely happen at the hospital.
The violent crimes detectives will then interview the individual in depth in order to make a detailed, step-by-step report of the assault. This interview may be conducted at the individual's home or at the police station, rather than in the hospital. If the suspect is apprehended while the individual is in the ER, the individual may be asked to identify the suspect at an area police station. If the apprehension does not occur immediately, the individual may be asked to look at mug shots at a police station. If the individual is with a survivor’s advocate at the hospital, and are asked to go to the police station immediately upon discharge, the individual can ask their advocate to accompany them to the police station.
If the detectives believe there are grounds for felony charges, they will call an assistant state’s attorney who will conduct a felony review (that is, a decision about whether to invoke felony charges against the assailant). This applies to a criminal case (when the state, not the survivor, is the complainant). During the felony review process, the assistant state’s attorney interviews both the survivor and the accused.
The survivor can decide whether or not they want to enter the legal process and, if they choose not to, they can discourage prosecution. However, the decision about whether charges will be filed rests with the state (that is, the assistant state’s attorney or the police).
If felony charges are not filed and the survivor wants to file charges, the survivor can request a “police override” from the violent crimes detectives, or the supervisor of the felony review can review the information pertaining to the case and decide how to proceed, or the individual can file misdemeanor charges.