One of the most common misconceptions about our criminal justice system is the concept of individuals “pressing charges.” You see it on tv all the time. Someone is wronged, whether it be they are hit, or they are perceived to be slighted, and they threaten the other person by stating “I’m going to press charges!” While its true that people can report crime to the police and even fill out private criminal complaints, the decision about whether to proceed with charges or not rests solely with the office of the District Attorney.
The most common time this comes into play is in scenarios involving domestic violence. An argument gets heated between two romantic partners, and one of the people in the fight calls the police and says the other person is attacking them. Whether its true or not, one or both of the participants gets hauled off to jail and gets charged with assault, aggravated assault, or harassment. After some time passes, the person who called the cops decides that they no longer wish to pursue charges. If they were lying, they call to recant what they said. However, most of the time these people are in for a rude awakening as the District Attorney may continue to pursue the charges.
While it seems unfair, there’s reasons behind this. First is to avoid potential witness intimidation. Often when someone recants a police report, its because they’ve been contacted by their attacker and intimidated into retracting their claims. Next, even if someone lied, that person is unlikely to come forward for fear of prosecution. Making a false report to police officers is a serious crime. It ends up being a catch 22, where people who file false police charges are forced to double down on their lie to avoid prosecution.
If you find yourself in a situation like the one described above, you need an experienced attorney to successfully resolve the situation. With the help of an attorney, the District Attorney can be convinced to drop the charges or consider alternative resolutions such as counseling, anger management classes, or some other form of help that will address the underlying issues without ending up with a conviction on your record. With years of experience dealing with prosecutors and helping clients and their families, Attorney Walker can help. Phone lines are open 24/7, 365 at 412-532-6805 to reach the Pittsburgh office or (304) 712-2089 for the office in Morgantown, West Virginia. Call now to set up a consultation!
About Frank Walker Law
Attorney Frank Walker of Frank Walker Law is a National Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer, and Personal Injury Attorney who has been recognized as a Super Lawyer, Best Attorneys in America and a Top AVVO Rated attorney, with offices in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Morgantown West Virginia.
If you or someone you love are facing criminal charges or seriously injured in an accident, contact Attorney Frank Walker immediately at 412-532-6805, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for aggressive and experienced Criminal Defense or Representation in a Civil Case.