A crime is an illegal act that is punishable by law and may result in jail time or a criminal fine. You may be the victim of a crime or a witness to a crime. When a crime occurs, it is important to report the crime to the police can arrest the criminal.

You can report a crime in several ways, including:

  • Calling 911;
  • Calling the police department;
  • Going into your local police department and speaking to an officer; or
  • Calling a crime hotline.

Can I Report a Crime Anonymously?

You may feel uncomfortable or be afraid to report a crime. You may want to report a crime anonymously to protect yourself from getting hurt. You may also want to help the police solve a crime without getting involved with the case.

You can report a crime anonymously through crime hotlines that allow you to leave information about a crime without giving them your name. You can call 911 or contact your local police department to give the information about a crime and let them know that you want to remain anonymous. Some law enforcement agencies have websites where you can report a crime online without revealing who you are.  

Should I Tell the Police What Has Happened to Me?

If you are a victim of a crime, you should report the crime to the police. When you inform the police of a crime, they can arrest the criminal and help prevent further crime by that individual. As a victim, reporting the crime may also result in compensation to you as additional punishment to the criminal for violating your rights.

But What Will the Police Think of Me?

The purpose of the police is to serve and protect the community. Their goal is to remove criminals from society and make the community safer. Everyone who a victim or witness of a crime may have an unfavorable past; however, the job of the police is not to judge a victim or witness. If someone criminally violates you, do not hesitate to contact the police because you think they will judge you.  All victims need protection and justice.

Will I Have to Go to Court?

You may have to go to court if you are a victim or witness to a crime. An attorney in a criminal case, may force you testify in court by sending you a subpoena. Your testimony may place a major part in finding a criminal guilty of his or her crime. 

Can I Find Out What Happened to the Offender?

Criminal cases are generally public information. You may be able to find out what happened to an offender through public records. In certain criminal cases, victims of crime may receive information directly from the court or police department updating them on the status of an offender. Victims and witnesses may also receive direct information about when the legal system releases an offender from prison.

If I Report a Crime, Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you knowingly report a false crime, you can face serious repercussions and fines. If you reported a crime that you think you might be an accomplice or be involved in, then it is in your best interest to find a criminal defense lawyer. If you’re a victim of crime and wish to sue the person that has hurt you for monetary damages, then you should contact a personal injury lawyer to figure out what you should do next.