A crime is any act prohibited by law that is deemed injurious to the public well-being. What follows are a list of common crimes, each with a short description. Using this list as a guide, it should be a simple matter for Guardsmen to recognize villainous activities. For ease of reference, crimes are broken up into four distinct groups: Minor Crimes, Major Crimes, Heinous Crimes, and Variable Crimes.
Minor crimes include offenses that, while harmful to public good, are not generally violent.
Applies to either the use or the threat of violence upon another individual, through physical or magical means.
Applies to breaking into and entering a residence, public or private, with the intention of stealing property.
Applies to any number of offenses, the most common of which is drunken horseplay; it can also be applied to any situation in which a suspect is being disruptive to others, even though he may not be committing a specific crime.
Applies to the illicit diversion of money and/or goods for personal gain.
Applies to gaining money or goods through deception.
Applies to any merchant or individual who, without the proper authorization, organizes betting and/or games of chance.
Liquor Law Violation
Applies to any merchant making liquor available to the public without acquiring the requisite licenses or paying the required taxes.
Obstruction of Justice
Applies to any attempt to hinder an official investigation, either by withholding information or by giving false testimony.
Possession/Receiving of Stolen Goods
Applies to the possession and trade of stolen property.
Applies to a gathering of three or more persons with the intention of causing personal violence or destruction of property.
Applies to the theft of money or goods from the body, clothes, or containers of a victim, through picking pockets, cutting purses, or other methods.
Intentionally summoning or controlling an external sentient magical entity. This list includes, but is not limited to, the following: Mage familiars, spirits, animal companions, demons, or elementals. An exception has been granted to the Lyceum for specific authorized lessons.
The wearing of all concealing cloaks in interior public places.
Intrusion of privately owned property, whether home or shop.
Applies to carrying unsheathed or ready weapons within city limits when no outside threat is pending.
Major crimes include violent crimes, as well as crimes that are quite damaging to the public good.
Applies to any illegal capture or arrest of an individual against their wishes, either through use of violence, threat of violence, fraud, or another form of coercion.
Applies to the use of violence upon an individual with the intention of slaying or crippling him, whether successful or not. Aggravated assault that results in the permanent death of an individual is considered Murder.
Applies to the use or the threat of violence in order to steal money or goods from an individual or establishment.
Applies to the illegal ignition of fires, or the use of incendiary mechanisms, materials, or fire-causing sorcery, to destroy or harm public or private property.
Attacking a Servant of the Imperium
Applies to any application of force upon an Imperial emissary, be it a Guardsman, a tax collector, or any authorized Imperial servant. This charge is typically applied in addition to any other charges.
Applies to the manufacture and distribution of counterfeit currency or documents.
Applies to any instance in which threats of violence are made in order to obtain money or goods.
Applies to any non-consensual carnal act perpetrated upon an individual by one or more assailants.
Applies to the illegal import and export of controlled or unlawful merchandise, substances, and/or slaves.
Heinous crimes include only the most reprehensible acts.
Applies to theft of sensitive government information, as well as distribution of this information to foreign powers and/or enemies of the state.
Applies to causing the permanent death of one or more individuals, whether intentional or not.
Applies to any crimes perpetrated against the Imperium with the intention of causing its ruin.
Variable crimes are those crimes that have penalties based upon certain variables, generally in relation to another crime.
Applies to the planned commission of any crime. The severity of the conspiracy is based on the severity of the planned criminal act. Thus, conspiracy to kill a person would be akin to a Murder charge.
Punishment of Crimes
Punishment for crimes, especially in the far-flung reaches of the Imperium, is by and large a matter of choices made by the local magistrates. In order to lend speed to these proceedings, the Imperial Guard and members thereof are given specific jurisdiction over the enforcement of laws and the doling out of punishment to those citizens callous enough to commit such acts.
Except in cases where a magistrate intervenes and requests to hear a specific case, all sentencing and punishment shall be decreed and carried out by the arresting Guardsman or his immediate superiors, without benefit of trial.
Guardsmen are given several guidelines in meting out punishment that they must follow in the pursuit of justice. These guidelines are to prevent an abuse of power by individual Guardsmen, and should be strictly enforced by fellow Guardsmen and their commanding officers. The punishments for all crimes perpetrated against Guardsmen are increased by half.
When a crime is committed by a suspect, there are two forms of punishment available: fines and incarceration.
Fines include monetary penalties that must be paid by the suspect to a Guardsman in order to compensate for his poor behavior. Guardsmen beneath the rank of commissioned officer must collect fines levied against the accused in person. If the suspect refuses to pay the fine in person, the matter can be escalated up the chain of command until it reaches an officer with the authority to levy fines directly against the suspect's bank accounts (Lieutenant and above). If a suspect is unwilling or unable to pay his fine at all, he will either be jailed, put in the stocks, or yoked, or, in the case of a suspect who is already facing a jail sentence, his sentence will be increased.
Incarceration includes the arrest and jailing of a suspect. Time served depends on many factors, and these include the nature of the crime that has been perpetrated, the suspect's attitude at the time of arrest (both towards the arresting Guardsman and the crime itself), and the arresting Guardsman's own judgment.
All crimes that are considered Minor Crimes are punishable by either a full 24 hours of imprisonment, or a fine of between 1000 and 5000 sovereigns. Offenses that are considered Major Crimes have increased penalties, including up to three days of imprisonment, as well as fines of between 6000 to 20000 sovereigns.
In extreme cases, both a fine and a jail term are levied against the subject. In the case of repeat offenses, the perpetrator's previous fines are doubled, and a day is added to the base sentence for each offense after the first. Unwillingness or inability to pay these fines results in an increased amount of time spent in jail, up to an extra day for every 500 sovereigns (or fraction thereof) owed. In no case must a suspect's sentence be longer than 14 days.
The arresting Guardsman is solely responsible for releasing his prisoners. If he is unable to perform this task, he must make every attempt to contact another Guardsman so that prisoners are not incarcerated in excess of the time warranted by their misconduct. Guardsmen who consistently forget to release prisoners on time may be subject to disciplinary action.
Heinous crimes are handled somewhat differently from Minor and Major crimes. Generally, the suspect is arrested and jailed immediately, and high-ranking Guardsmen are brought in to ensure that proper justice is meted out.
These punishments, as a rule, apply to all crimes that are committed within the borders of the Imperium. If a shop keeper reports a crime, it is a standard operational procedure to arrest all parties involved in the crime, if there be more than one.
All fines collected are to be kept by individual Guardsmen until such time as they can be turned in to the senior commanding officer or non-commissioned officer. Fines are not normally refunded, unless the suspect can prove his innocence without a shadow of a doubt.
Pursuit and Prosecution Outside the Empire
Crimes committed outside the borders of the Empire cannot be prosecuted by the Imperial Guard, nor can suspects who flee across the borders be pursued or extradited without the cooperation of foreign authorities. However, crimes committed against servants of the Empire outside the borders can be prosecuted once the accused returns to the Empire.
A crime that is witnessed by many is easier to prove than a crime that has been witnessed by one. In the case of a single witness testifying against a single suspect, the investigating Guardsmen must take into account many factors: the credibility of both the witness and the suspect (including similar behavior prior to the current incident), the severity of the alleged crime, and any evidence that can be presented by either party to sway his decision one way or the other. This changes when the single witness is a Guardsmen. Due to a Guardsman's authority and his sworn oath of fealty, it is taken for granted that his word is truth.
If there are multiple witnesses to a crime, they must each be interviewed separately, preferably in private or by different Guardsmen. Once the interviews are complete, their stories must be compared by the investigators and any inconsistencies noted. If the tales the witnesses tell are more or less identical, the guilt of the suspect can be assured.
A suspect, in his own defense, may call witnesses of his own who will support his story. These witnesses consist of two types: those who were present and can verify the suspect's innocence, and those who testify "in support" of the suspect, swearing before the gods that the suspect is good and true of character. Like those who have witnessed against the suspect, these folk must be interviewed as well.
The testimony of those who speak "in support" of the suspect is less binding than actual witnesses, though their affirmation of his finer qualities may clear him of suspicion in the case of a crime where there was only a single witness present. In effect, those speaking in support of the suspect are swearing that their friend would never do such a thing, and that they are willing to be jailed (for the offense of Obstruction of Justice) if it is later proven that their friend did, indeed, commit the crime.
In the end, it is the judgment of the investigating Guardsmen that determines the suspect's fate.
When arresting a suspect, a Guardsman must either be a witness to the crime, or he must have enough evidence to prove that the suspect has committed or has intended to commit the crime. This evidence can take the form of witnesses, physical evidence, or confessions.
If convenience permits, the arresting Guardsman must inform a suspect that he intends to arrest him, and on what charges the arrest is based. If specific orders or warrants are required in order to make the arrest (in the case of high-profile felons), they should also be provided to the suspect or his legal council (if present). Once in custody, a suspect's well-being and safety are the arresting Guardsman's responsibility.
The application of force is occasionally required to subdue particularly violent or uncooperative suspects. In such cases, the suspect can be charged for his crimes once he is confined within the nearest jail or dungeon. After the suspect has been arrested, charged, fined, and/or jailed, he is subject to the mercy of the Imperium while his guilt is determined. It is preferable that the suspect give a detailed confession, so as to accelerate the trial. Confessions may be gained through questioning, interrogation, and reasonable torture.
Members of the royal house and those enjoying the hospitality of the Sovereign, titled nobility (barons, dukes, earls, and the like), and royal servants (pages, heralds, and other servants on official Palace business) may not be arrested without proper authorization and/or warrants from High Command. Likewise, foreign diplomats and envoys who enjoy political immunity, as well as agents of servants of the Imperium, such as tax collectors, military officers, or other Imperial Guardsmen, may not be arrested without authorization. Proper authorization in any case must consist of a written arrest order (ie, warrant) signed by the ranking officer.
These considerations do not apply to untitled nobility (such as Lords or Ladies) or their servants, nor to enlisted members of militias, their elected officers, or hired mercenaries.
When a suspect is jailed for a crime, he must be informed of the exact date and time of his release. These times must be detailed in the arresting Guardsman's report. The arresting Guardsman is thereafter responsible for releasing the suspect once his time is up. If he is unable to do so, it is his responsibility to find another Guardsman who can.
Visitation in Gaol
No persons other than barristers, magistrates, and other Imperial officials are to be allowed into the cellblock of the gaol. All such visitors must be accompanied by a Guardsman at all times, except in cases where an official requests a private interview with the prisoner. In that case the Guardsman will escort the visitor into the cell, leave the cell, lock the door, and remain in the hallway outside the cell until requested to return. In most cases the prisoner will be shackled and handcuffed for the duration of the visit.
Occasionally, suspects may be detained for questioning. If the suspect is a flight risk, he can, at the arresting Guardsman's option, be detained in a jail cell for no longer than 24 hours. If, by this time, the suspect has not been questioned, he must be released on his own recognizance.
Use of Force
Guardsmen are permitted to employ deadly force when the life or well-being of an individual is threatened, and when inaction may spell the difference between life and death. Likewise, force may be used to subdue a suspect who has been arrested and attempts to evade his captors, or one who resists arrest through violent means. Force may also be used to control rioting mobs.
Guard Patrol Reports
Every Imperial Guardsman is expected to make public reports in regards to unusual incidents that he finds himself involved in while performing hid duties. It is important that these reports be precise, legibly-written, and coherent. In the case of a Guardsman who does not know his letters, or who is unable to write legibly, seek out an Imperial scribe so that he may take your report down. Patrol reports must be made in a timely manner, preferably within an hour of an incident, and should include all relevant facts.
Patrol reports can include any officially documented information, not just the results of official patrols. Statements taken from citizens in regards to criminal activities or complaints are counted as patrol reports, as are documents that detail odd happenings that are witnessed by or reported to a Guardsman.
In regards to arrest reports, it is now mandatory that any incident involving an arrest be fully documented. If a citizen is punished, there must be a corresponding report which details the exact punishment that has been applied. The time of an arrest is of particular importance, as is the length of the prisoner's incarceration, and both of these facts should be noted on the final report.
Clarity within reports is crucial. Scribes are available for those Guardsmen who are unable to write their own reports. Reports taken by scribe must be noted as such when submitted.
Guard reports must be submitted within 48 hours of an incident. Any Guardsman failing to meet this deadline without first requesting an extension to this deadline will be subject to at least one demerit, as well as appropriate disciplinary action as determined by his service record.