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How can the police press simple assualt charges when the "victim" refuses to press them?

Ambridge, PA |

A friend of mine, ex-girlfriend came to his apartment highly intoxicated, screaming and trying to force her way into the apartment. He had tried to get past her to go to the neighbors to call the police and when he did he bumped into her causing her to fall down a few steps. After he called the police they shortly arrived, but he had left because she wouldnt. They pressed charges on him. He has remained in contact with the ex and she is not and did not press charges, because she was not hurt and she wasnt assualted. An ambulance never came, she never received any kind of medical attention. On top of that he didnt even find out until now , a year later he was being charged, so he has a warrant. He never received anything in the mail.

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Attorney answers 3


That is the prerogative of the police because they are the executive branch of the government. The accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty and needs an attorney. | For confidential answers on Florida law, call 1.877.452.9457. Attorney James Regan, LL.M, Esq., is a Florida lawyer answering questions pro bono. Answering these consumer questions based on limited and unverified facts does not create an attorney-client relationship. Being posted on the internet, these questions and answers are not confidential. For confidential answers on Florida law, call 1.800.452.9357.


In Pennsylvania, a criminal caption will read Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. John Doe. It is the Commonwealth, and not the victim of the alleged crime, that brings the charges. Typically, the case is easier for the government to make when they have a victim that wants to participate in the proceeding, but even when this is not the case they may simply subpoena the victim who then must appear and testify.

First things first - your friend should surrender to the warrant and get the case back on track. He should see an attorney as soon as possible to avoid being picked up on the warrant and risk spending time in jail that may be unnecessary.


Simple assault does not require hospitalization, injuries etc. If those existed, it would be aggravated assault. When "charges are pressed" it is always the state that presses charges NOT individuals. That said, if she denies that this occurred, it may be difficult to prove the case unless there was another witness. Most domestic violence cases the victim decides she (or he) no longer wants their loved one prosecuted. It is not entirely up to them. Hire an attorney.

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