Originally Posted by jabbathespud
My question about the last episode is why was the daughter charged at all since it seems to be justifiable homicide (typical judgement for self-defense), not manslaughter.
"Charged" is often something confusing to people. Charged doesn't mean you'll necessarilly be held over for trial. It just means that an act has been committed and the police think you did it. It's then up to the D.A. to decide whether to pursue a case or not, and, if so, what the charge will be. If that occurs, you are then placed in custody pending your hearing.
However, just bringing someone in for questioning doesn't mean they've been arrested. They can be a witness, a person of interest or a suspect.
In this case, an act had been committed and she was brought in for questioning. At that point, it was determined she did, in fact, shoot someone. Normally, shooting someone is a crime, except in rare cases. It's not up to the police to decide if the case falls under those exceptions, so they make the arrest.
When what appears to be a crime is committed and someone is arrested, there has to be a charge. Even that doesn't mean your case will be heard. First, the D.A. has to decide whether to prosecute or not. Next, there has to be a hearing where you will be told of the charges made against you, you get to enter a plea and the judge will also determine if there is sufficient cause to go to trial. Should there be cause, bail will be either set or denied (though recommendations for bail can sometimes be heard at another time).
Now, certainly, the police have a certain amount of leeway to not make an arrest, however, in these cases, they usually do and refer it to the D.A. At that point, the investigating officer can offer input on how to proceed based on their interactions with the "suspect". Because the courts are often overloaded with cases, if a cop recommends not pursuing the case, it's likely they won't.
It should also be pointed out that there's also a difference between "arrested" and "detained". Most people are "detained" until charged. Even having your rights read doesn't mean you've been arrested. It just means they are informing you of those rights prior to questioning you. You can be detained for a full day before they have to either arrest you on a charge or release you.Edited by NetworkTV - 1/31/13 at 9:10am