Private Criminal Complaints
If you are the victim of a crime, the first thing you should do is contact the police. The police are charged with the duty to provide immediate protection from the perpetrators of crimes as well as to investigate alleged crimes after the fact. The police may initiate the criminal process by filing a complaint with a Magisterial District Judge or by making a warrantless arrest followed by the filing of a complaint. The complaint identifies the defendant, lists the crimes charged and contains a brief factual summary upon which the charges are based.
However, sometimes the police do not follow through with criminal charges for various reasons. In the event the police decline to file a complaint, a private person is permitted to file a private complaint. However, an Assistant District Attorney must first approve the private complaint before it can proceed. Once approved, the process is the same as if the complaint had been filed by a police officer.
The police declining to proceed with charges against the perpetrator is a difficult experience for the victims of crime, and, unfortunately, it happens when the charges could and should proceed. If you find yourself in this situation, the attorneys at AAAL can help. We can provide a professional consultation to determine what viable charges can be brought, file those charges and present your case to the District Attorney with the skill and insight that only a licensed attorney possesses.
If you believe that you are the victim of a crime, contact AAAL immediately for a consultation on your case.