New York City is one of the most populous cities in the United States, with a bustling culture and international scene. However, unfortunately, areas that are more densely populated tend to have higher rates of crime. If you have been the victim of a crime in New York City, then it’s important to understand the process of reporting the crime and to have access to an experienced New York criminal lawyer.
Reporting a crime in NYC can be complex and time-consuming. It’s important to go through the crime reporting process thoroughly and ensure that all paperwork is submitted correctly in order to ensure that you can properly pursue justice. The criminal legal team at the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler, PLLC, has put together this guide on reporting crime in NYC so that you can take steps to protect yourself and hold people accountable for any injustice that you have experienced.
Reporting a Crime in NYC
This guide is applicable only to crimes that have already been carried out. In the event that you are immediately in danger, then it is critical to call 911. Everyone has a right to report a crime despite individual characteristics, such as age, race, country of origin, or immigration status. Such a report may result in criminal charges for the offender.
Immediately After the Crime
If the crime has just occurred, and you have witnessed or fallen victim to it, then it’s critical to ensure that you are in a place of safety and not in any danger of immediate threat or harm. It’s important to remember to keep your calm and continue with the following steps:
- Call 911 right away. You can use your phone or the phone of a trusted person in order to report the crime.
- Provide the crime’s location. The dispatcher will ask you where the emergency is happening. Try to provide a location as descriptively as possible. If you don’t have the exact address, then you can use prominent landmarks or street names.
- Inform the dispatcher whether there are injured people. The dispatcher will ask you if people have been hurt, and you will need to let them know if they need to send medical assistance.
- Provide information about the perpetrator and victim. You will need to provide detailed information about both the perpetrator and victim involved in the crime, if possible and if applicable. Providing characteristic identifiers such as hair color, eye color, height, weight, and clothes is helpful.
- Provide information about the suspected whereabouts of the perpetrator or victim, or both, if applicable. It is useful to let the dispatcher know about how the involved parties are traveling and whether or not the situation has escalated with the involvement of weapons.
- Leave all evidence untouched. Do not tamper with the crime scene. This includes any items that could assist police in the investigation, such as objects that have skin, blood, semen, or fingerprints on them, for example.
It’s important to note that you do not have to speak English during your 911 call. After calling the line, you can request to speak in another language, if needed, and you will be transferred to a translator. Calling 911 as a joke is unequivocally against the law, so do not call 911 unless you have a serious matter to report.
NYC Crimes That Do Not Involve Immediate Emergencies
If you have experienced or witnessed a crime, but there is no emergency, then you can report the crime to particular authorities based on where the crime occurred. For example, you can report the crime to the Port Authority Police Department, NYPD, NY State Police, or MTA Police, depending on the location of the crime. For most departments, you can file your report online or in person at a precinct.
Submitting Tips About Crimes
If you have information that could be helpful in indicating the perpetrator of a crime or assisting law enforcement in some way, then you can report the information using Crime Stoppers, a program that exists in partnership between the public, the media, and law enforcement agencies. By using Crime Stoppers, you can provide information anonymously.
Q: What Should I Do After a Sexual Violence Crime?
A: If you have experienced a crime involving sexual violence, then it is important to call 911 in the case of immediate danger. If the matter is not a critical emergency, then it is advised to phone the NYPD Special Victims Division 24-hour hotline, using the number 646-610-7272. An experienced sex crimes lawyer can help you bring justice to your case.
Q: How Can I Get a Police Report Online in New York City?
A: If you are looking for an online police report, then you can obtain this under the Freedom of Informational Law (FOIL). After waiting at least 24 hours following a complaint report, you can submit an online FOIL request. If you are having trouble accessing this information, then an experienced NYC criminal lawyer can assist you.
Q: Can I See All Police Reports in New York State?
A: Depending on your clearance and your relation to a case, you can only see certain New York State police reports. Some records can be requested for viewing by filing an online FOIL request. However, some reports, such as ones linked to an investigation that is under review, may not be accessible for all people of the public to access freely.
Q: How Can I Make a Report for NYC Harassment?
A: If you have experienced harassment in New York City, then there is a specific hotline you should call instead of the 911 emergency hotline. You can text “HATE” to 81336 or call 888-392-3644 in order to report harassment, discrimination, or hate-related threats. The hotline is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you are worried for your safety, then you should call 911.
Fight Crime By Working With an Experienced NY Criminal Lawyer
If you are facing issues related to criminal activity in New York, such as theft-related crimes or crimes such as harassment or assault, then it is helpful to work with a legal professional who is aware of the local laws and procedures in the NYC area. Get in touch with a team member at Law Offices of Robert Tsigler, PLLC to start working towards solutions for any of your crime-related concerns.