How to File Criminal Charges against Someone | Full Process Discussed


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The term crime against the person points to a wide range of criminal acts. That normally involves harm to the body, threat to the body, and other actions against the person’s consent. When there are enough proof and evidence against you, you can request to file criminal charges against such a person very easily. Let’s learn how to file criminal charges against someone.

A criminal investigation is a certain liability or obligation under international law. It is essential to file the charges of crime to ensure that these events will not happen again.

But how this can be possible, we will learn this in this article. 

What is a Criminal Charge?

How to File Criminal Charges against Someone

A criminal document of charge contains one or more charges, or counts can take several forms, including a complaint. A criminal charge is a formal accusation made by the government authority, normally a public prosecutor or a police department. These institutions assure the involvement of somebody in a particular crime. 

How to File Criminal Charges against Someone

How to File Criminal Charges against Someone

Many cases start with the calling of police to the site of crime by a victim or any other witness. The police ask the witness and victim, collect the evidence, and arrest the supposed one. The police may book the supposed person at the police station. Next, release the suspect through bale and grip the suspected person until the bail hearing.

Position of case on the prosecutor desk

The police normally bring the crime proof to the prosecutor at this step. He or she will ask whether to file a criminal charge in contradiction of the supposed person. Criminal charges filed in the court are the types of a complaint or the information or the petition. The complaint indicates the involvement of a supposed person in a particular crime. 

Considerations of prosecutor

The prosecutor evaluates the strength of the case before filing the criminal charges. Also, the sufficiency of the proofs, and the probable cooperation from the victims and witnesses. Prosecutors should also know the rules, terms, and conditions according to the law and state rulings.

The prosecutor should also consider the offender’s criminal history before convictions and the allegations opposed to the police in searching or arrest. Being a government representative, the prosecutor also thinks about whether prosecuting the case is the best tool for public resources. 

If the victim does not cooperate

If the victim cooperates in the case, it will be easy for the prosecutor to build and prove a case in front of a jury or court proceedings. The victim’s cooperation has a great role in the prosecution’s decision. However, it does not mean that the victim’s cooperation can make or break the case proceedings and decision.

The reluctance and fear of the victim to cooperate with the prosecutor can increase the importance of prosecuting the supposed person, such as domestic violence cases. A prosecutor has a right to summon a victim and can force a victim to take hold. On the other hand, if the casualty has no fear and cooperates, the prosecutor will ask if other proof will be sufficient to get the conviction. 

Grand jury proceedings

In a few states, the prosecutor presents the proof to a grand jury in the court to prove that the charges are real. Granbury has 15 to 23 members who only hear the prosecutor’s side’s summons and proofs and evidence in the case. The grand jury’s function is to adopt whether the proofs and evidence support the criminal charges or not.

If it does not determine the fault of the defending party, they will take the next step. In case, the grand jury finds that the concerns are real and true, they will issue an indictment, and then the case will proceed. 

If the prosecutor refuses to file criminal charges

A prosecutor will revise the case history and decide that there is not enough evidence to bring the case to proceed. The prosecutor’s supervisor will decide that the whole prosecution office will emphasize the resources on particular cases, like drug cases, violent felonies, and homicide, not property crimes, bribery, and fraud. Whether the case type is already discussed above, the decision of the prosecutor or prosecutor’s office is final. 

It is important to note that the prosecutor cannot file the charges forcefully. In some cases, the prosecutor can do this by coming under the pressure of political and public parties. Under the pressure of any party, a prosecutor has the right to bring the case to the grand jury to agree if charges are real. Until the expiry of the status of the limitations, one cannot overrule the prosecutor’s decisions. It is the prosecutor’s will that he can change his mind and file the criminal charges later.

How much time does the prosecutor take to file the charges?

In 3 to 4 days of the arrest! In the other cases when the supposed person is not in jail, the process can take days, weeks, and months to file the charges. Even after filing charges, the prosecutor can alter the charges and dismiss a few of the charges or all of them. 

In the filing of charges, limitations have a great role to play. The time limit to file the charges is also very important. If the nature of the crime is unembellished, the longer will be the limitations of statute, and the prosecutor will take the longest time to file the charges. For example, in most states, there is no time limit to file the charges in the case of murder, which means that the prosecutor can file the charges after many years of crime.

On the other hand, to file the misdemeanor charges can go to two years. There are different rules for filing the charges in different states. After the expiry of the time perimeter, the prosecutor can still file the charges, but a defender has a right to bring the motion to dismiss the charges. The judge does not have the flexibility in this regard and is liable to dismiss the case.

After the prosecutor files the charges

Suppose the grand jury issued the indictment and the prosecutor filed the charges. The supposed person who is now the defendant of the case has to give an appearance in front of a judge for the hearing of the case. He has the right to file the charges and hire an attorney.

If the defendant cannot bear the attorney’s expenses, the judge has the authority to provide the public defender for him. The judge will analyze the prosecutor’s charges and will give the neutral decision for whether the proofs support the charges or not. If the bail issue remains, the defendant can argue for the bail amount or want the release on the promise to appear again. Now the court will give the new date for hearings and the pretrial motions.

Contact the attorney

If there are criminal charges against you or a chance to arrest, you can contact the criminal defense attorney to seek help as soon as possible. An attorney can help in your case according to the happenings and statements. The system for criminal cases in courts is very complicated and annoying, be patient, save your rights and do your best for your case.   

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the ways to file the crime report? 

We make and keep the contacts, police contacts, police press cards, police press conferences, observations and monitoring, documents, and reports.

Can someone file charges without proof?

You cannot charge and convict if there is no evidence against you. If you arrest, detain or charge in any case, then there should be a real cause or physical evidence pointing towards you.

Can an individual file a criminal complaint?

A victim or the person who knows the command of a crime can file a complaint under section 200 in the code of the illegal process.

What is the process to file a criminal case?

When there is an offense, the police can file a charge sheet before the magistrate, and the trial will proceed. At the trial stage, the person making the complaint is summoned by the court to record his proof.

Who files criminal court complaints?

The government representatives file the criminal cases and complaints like the prosecutors and the local district attorney. Although this is rare, few states allow a person to file a criminal complaint or apply for one.


From the above-based facts and figures, we conclude that you should contact the police department where the offense happened if you’re a victim of a certain crime. The police will investigate and file a complaint of request if there is enough proof and evidence against anyone.

These complaints and charges are then going to the prosecutor’s office for the process of prosecution. You cannot dismiss the charges after signing the complaint document. The experienced attorney can dismiss the charges with the permission of the judge.


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