The Saint Paul and Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project

SAFETY ALERT: Your abuser can monitor your use of your computer and the Internet. If you are in danger, please use a safer computer, call 911, the St. Paul & Ramsey County Intervention Project at 651-645-2824, or the Minnesota Domestic Violence Crisis Line at 1-866-223-1111 if you are in Minnesota. If you live outside of Minnesota call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

To better understand the steps of working with the criminal justice system in matters of domestic abuse, click on The St Paul Blueprint for Safety.

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What happens if I am contacted by a police investigator?

The St. Paul Police Department has a Family and Sexual Violence Unit (FSVU). That unit investigates sexual assaults and domestic related crimes. It follows up and builds on the evidence collected by the responding police officers at the scene. Other law enforcement jurisdictions may take different actions.

When the responding police officers have written the police report, the report goes to the FSVU where it is reviewed by the executive officer of the unit. The executive officer assigns the case to an investigator if the case is a gross misdemeanor, felony or a Gone on Arrival (GOA) case (suspect is not arrested at the scene). Misdemeanors are reviewed for completeness of the information in the police report to see if any follow up is necessary.

Cases are not assigned to an investigator if the case is a misdemeanor and the investigation done by the responding officers is complete. Cases also are not assigned to an investigator if there was no probable cause in the case. Probable cause means there is reasonable enough information to indicate that a crime occurred and is the standard that must be met for the case to be charged.

The investigator will contact you to follow up on the case either in person or on the phone number given to the responding officers.

If you don’t speak English, investigators can access an interpreter to help you communicate with them.

The investigator will collect additional evidence. The investigator will interview additional witnesses, will re-interview you and sometimes take new photos. The investigator will review with you your answers to the risk questions. The investigator will follow up on those questions. The investigator will ask you further risk questions to get a better understanding of the history of domestic violence. The investigator may ask for a new medical release, ask you about your injuries and ask about any treatment you may have gotten for those injuries.

The investigator will ask you or find out for themselves if the suspect is on probation and if so, will tell probation about this case.

In cases where the suspect was not arrested at the scene (Gone on Arrival or GOA cases), the investigator will follow up with you and witnesses to get additional information, if necessary. If the location of the suspect is known, the investigator will attempt to interview the suspect. The investigator and police officers can arrest the suspect up to 72 hours after the crime has occurred. GOA cases are reviewed by a sergeant and prosecutor. If the case meets the legal standard for charging, “probable cause”, the suspect may be charged by a warrant for arrest. It can take a few days for the GOAs to be charged by warrant.

The investigator will give you his/her name and contact information so that you can call the investigator with any concerns. You can report to the investigator if the suspect contacts you or is abusive. The investigator also can arrange periodic “welfare” checks at your residence by police officers if you or the investigator believe that welfare checks will increase your safety.

The investigator will review the case for a charging decision, consult with prosecutors and submit the case to prosecutors for charging.

At any point in the process you can contact the St. Paul and Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, 651-645-2824, to speak with a confidential advocate. If you have had contact with an advocate from the St. Paul and Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, information you share with the advocate will not be shared unless you have given permission.

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