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   You cannot press charges and she cannot drop charges

I have not yet determined where the term “pressing charges” originated, but each day folks on-line ask about whether they can press charges, or IF someone that has elected to contact the police can now drop charges. Although the process is relatively simple, no civilian can go to the courts to press criminal charges. First, when there is an emergency, most people call 911, and emergency services (i.e. police, fire dept.) are dispatched. When a civilian caller dials 911, they cannot tell the 911 dispatcher who to send to the house, or location, they can only describe the emergency. The 911 dispatcher decides who will be sent to the location. When the police arrive, they listen to the story and decide what course of action should be taken. When the police make an arrest, the state has the case. So, when the intoxicated wife wants her cheating husband arrested, and tells the police that he struck her, only to try and recant the story four days, or four weeks, later, she does not have any power to drop any charges. The case belongs to the state prosecutor, who is the only person who will decide IF the case will go forward, and what charges the accused will face. The state prosecutor is not picking up the charges that the wife wants to drop, because as long as the police are placing handcuffs on the accused, it is the prosecutor’s case. 

Second, where 911 is not called, and the police do not respond to an emergency, a victim can go to the police and speak to law enforcement, and ask that the police take action on the case. There are a number of factors that impact whether police will investigate and/or make an arrest: (1) credibility of the victim; (2) number of witnesses that observed the incident; (3) physical proof of the allegations, like injuries or physical damage to property; (4) explanations concerning why 911 was NOT phoned; and/or (5) accused’s criminal history. IF the police choose not to arrest a person, especially, IF the allegations amount to a felony offense, there is nothing else to be done. Only law enforcement can bring felony charges against an accused. There is no “pressing felony charges” against another person. 

 Third, in some limited circumstances where the victim is leveling accusations that involve a misdemeanor offense, like simple battery or criminal trespass or harassment, the victim may be able to go to court to ask the judge for a warrant, at what is referred to as a warrant application hearing. Not all jurisdictions have warrant application hearing. However, in those jurisdictions where warrant applications are heard, the victim is responsible for appearing in court and presenting his/her evidence concerning why the courts should issue the warrant(s). The victim may want to retain an attorney to present the evidence to the courts, since the judge will need to be persuaded by more than emotional hyperbole. Click here for info on retaining the right attorney   
Lawrence Lewis is an experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer practicing as Drug Attorney, License Suspension Lawyers, Sex Offense Attorney, Traffic Citation Lawyer, Misdemeanor Offenses Attorneys, Felony Offenses Lawyer, Bond Lawyer, Armed Robber Attorney, dui lawyer, Preliminary Hearing serving Lawrenceville, Gwinnett Country, Metro Atlanta, Alpharetta, Roswell, Marietta, Buford, Fulton County, Canton, Decatur, Norcross, Woodstock, Stone Mountain, Duluth and Cumming .

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  • Murder Homicide
    Murder Homicide

    If you are facing charges on a murder case, we can help. Homicide or murder is considered by many to be the ultimate crime, which will likely lead to the most severe punishment, if the accused is convicted.
  • Traffic Citations
    Traffic Citations

    O.C.G.A. § 40-5-20(a) states that no person shall drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this state unless such person has a valid driver’s license. Any person who is a resident of Georgia for 30 days must obtain
  • Sexual Offenses
    Sexual Offenses

    People charged with sexual assault or child sex offenses face hostile prosecutors and harsh public opinion. Most people, even some criminal defense attorneys, are only too willing to believe
  • Family Violence
    Family Violence

    Family violence, also known as Domestic violence, refers to physical harm inflicted on one member of a household or family, by another member of the same household or family (usually
  • Armed Robbery
    Armed Robbery

    In Georgia, robbery is defined as the taking of the property of another from the immediate presence of another, and is distinguished from other types of theft.

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