Can I file an assault charge if I wasn't the one who was assaulted?

My sister was recently assaulted by a family member and has a black eye. She is scared to press charges. Can I press charges for her if I have pictures?

Dalton, GA -

Attorney Answers (2)

S. Carlton Rouse

S. Carlton Rouse

Criminal Defense Attorney - Snellville, GA

Doubt it. But you should save the pictures because it is not uncommon for victims of violent crime to be reluctant to come forward. If/when she has a change of heart, you all will need to swear out warrants at your local police department.

Best of luck,

S. Carlton Rouse, Esq.
Rouse & Co. LLC

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Joshua G. Schiffer

Joshua G. Schiffer

Domestic Violence Lawyer - Atlanta, GA

While you do not have the proper standing to "demand" prosecution as a victim or guardian of the victim, you can always approach law enforcement and/or your locally elected prosecutor and report the crime. Crime reports are taken very seriously as the numbers are gathered and reported to national and state organizations that track societal issues. Domestic violence is one of the categories they pay particular attention to as it has become a major issue. I encourage you to assist your loved one in getting help from a counselor or mental health provider at a minimum. Many times I see underlying mental health issues that can contribute to domestic violence issues in this type of case, and those issues can lead to more serious incidents in the future if left un-addressed. Good luck!

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