When the police or an ordinary citizen accuses you of a crime, they do not always arrest you on the spot. In the case of a major crime or felony, there is a process that the police must go through to issue an arrest warrant and start criminal proceedings because the burden of proof is on them.
If someone accuses you of breaking the law, the police will begin an investigation. So, this is what happens as the process starts.
Charges and investigation
After an offense occurs and someone notifies the police. The police then begin an investigation. In the case of a major felony, unless it is very clear who is guilty, this investigation happens before they make any arrests. If they think that they have sufficient evidence, they will file charges. Then a judge issues an arrest warrant. The warrant must contain your identity, the offense, and why the police think you are guilty.
Arrest and booking
Once there is an arrest warrant, the police will locate the person they believe is guilty and take them into custody. They will inform you of your rights and take you to a holding facility or jail during this process. They will take your fingerprints, personal information, and a photograph at the jail.
In Pennsylvania, you will get a medical screening before putting you into a holding cell. While you are in holding, the officer will take their information to the prosecutor, and the prosecutor will file a complaint.
Knowing what happens after someone accuses you of a crime can help you begin to prepare for your defense and the trial to come.