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How long does the person have to press chargers on someone if they got into a fight no fatal injuries were made at all

West Chester, PA |

The incident occurred on Saturday march 16 and it is now the 12 of march. The cops didn't give me anything being charged with anything, and the other party declined when asked by the officer that evening if they wanted to press charges. Now can they go to the police station and tell them they changed their mind?

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Attorney answers 7


I tagged your question for criminal defense but I believe he can still file charges.

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The statute of limitations on simple assault is two years, aggravated assault is five. Of this event happened a year ago, it is possible that the district attorney could decline to prosecute

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I agree with Mr. Crawford. You can still be charged for sure.

In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.


I agree with Mr. Crawford as to the statute of limitations for misdemeanors as 2 years and aggravated assaults 5 years, but be aware that all the prosecutor has to do to get the longer period is charge the higher graded offence whether or not it can be made out at trial. However, these limits only apply to the institution of charges, meaning the fling of a complaint. Thus, you may not be aware of a timely charge until after the statute seems to have lapsed. As a practical matter, in relatively straightforward cases like the one you describe there is generally not much of a delay and charges are generally filed very soon after the complaining witness makes a report. Do not delay is speaking with an attorney in the event you are charged and by no means should you speak to anyone but an attorney about your case.

This answer is based on general legal principles only and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. This answer is for informational purposes only and does not constitute the formation of a lawyer-client relationship. Any reader of this answer should not make decisions based upon in without first directly consulting with an attorney in person.


You could be charged. Retain a criminal lawyer in West Chester if you are charged.


Alas, there is plenty of time to charge you still. I suggest you hire an attorney.

For a free consultation related to medical malpractice, personal injury, workers' compensation, social security disability or nursing home abuse, please contact Lowenthal & Abrams, PC at 1-800-876-5299. I am licensed in Pennsylvania, but members of my firm are licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. This post is not legal advice, but instead contains general educational information. Please do not act or refrain from acting based upon what you read in this post. Also please remember that this post does not form an attorney/client relationship between you and me. If you have specific legal questions, you should contact an attorney in your state for assistance. I am licensed to practice law in the state of Pennsylvania.


I agree with the other answers. As a practical matter, once a victim has said he or she doesn't want to "press charges", the police are reluctant to pursue them. At the same time they may do so. I suggest you speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer in West Chester.

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