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Can I still press charges?

Phoenix, AZ |

i was in an accident 10/08 in which i was hit by a 19 year old drunk driver. When police arrived they asked me if i wanted to press charges, and i said yes. Recently a friend brought up public records and how you can veiw everyone's record. i was curious as to the charges of my accident and i found out that the police never filed charges against the drunk driver even though i had told them i wanted charges pressed against him. i want to push for charges. can i press charges even though its been four years later?

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

Private individuals can never "press charges" in criminal court. Generally, only the police and district attorney in a local jurisdiction can file criminal charges. The police must have concluded that there was not enough evidence. If you received injuries or had property damages you may be able to consult with a personal injury attorney about filing a lawsuit for damages which would still be a lawsuit against the individual. Finally, the other party may have gotten some type of deal that allowed their record to be sealed even though a criminal case existed at one time.

These statements do not constitute legal advice. They are meant to be general in nature, for any specific legal questions you should always seek the counsel of an experienced attorney.

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Posted

You could file a complaint but you do not decide whether or not to press charges. That is typically the decision of the prosecuting attorney. If the prosecuting attorney decided not to press charges, there is nothing you can do on the criminal side. Of course, if you were injured or suffered damages, assuming that the statute of limitations has not run, you could always sue the individual in civil court.

I am not licensed to practice law in your State and am not familiar with the laws applicable in your State. You need to contact an attorney licensed in your State to get a true answer to your problem. Advice on this forum is for informational purposes only and should never be mistaken as a substitute for legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice, you should consult local legal counsel

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Posted

Its up to the prosecutor to file charges against the driver. You can however file a civilian complaint. Good luck.

The above is general information only and is not legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney until we sign a retainer agreement.

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Posted

It is up to the authorities whether the claim is prosecuted, not you.

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Posted

If you suffered any property damage and/or personal injuries, you can file a civil law suit against the driver who hit you, but only the government can file a criminal DUI case. If this happened last October, there is a chance that the criminal charge will still be filed. It is not uncommon for a DUI to be charged several months, even up to a year after it occurred. Or, it is possible that the police and prosecutor decided not to file the case for lack of evidence. But the government makes a LOT of money from DUI cases, so I think that if there is a case for DUI, they will definitely file it.

For your part, you will have notified your insurance provider of the incident.

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