Assault charges come in varying degrees and encompass both the committal of injury on another person or the threat of injury to another. You can be the victim of assault without being physically harmed.
Regardless, it’s important to press charges whenever you can so law enforcement knows about the threats or acts being committed against you. This provides them with the ability to act before the situation escalates.
In the following article, we’ll be looking at the six steps you’ll need to take. Let’s begin.
The first thing you need to do when pressing charges is to write down everything you remember about the offensive contact. Think about the time, location, interactions you had with the individual(s) prior to their act.
Being assaulted is traumatic. However, if you pause for a moment and reflect, you start to feel yourself regaining control of the situation, which will help when it’s time to approach the police.
One natural byproduct of documenting the events is that you will remember everyone who was present at the time of your physical injury. Gather a list of names.
Anyone associated with the attack who can corroborate your story, at least in part. The police will want to speak with them.
Go to the Police
There are more ways to approach the police with a report. Many jurisdictions allow you to do it online or through your phone. If you plan on pressing charges, you’ve got to get the accusations into an official document. You also might want to drive to the police department physically or see about submitting a report by phone.
Get a Copy of the Report
Filing assault charges is immediate, but it could take a while longer for the police to finish the report. Standards will vary by department, but you can usually get your police report within three days.
The responding officer will provide you with a call for service number immediately. Just keep checking back with the department for that report and make sure the CFS number stays handy.
Watch for More Evidence
Some of the assault details might come back to you after submitting the initial report. No problem! You can always add those details to the report at a later date.
An officer or detective will add that to the case file in the form of a supplement. Before heading to the prosecutor, you may wish to ask for a copy of all reports to include the initial incident report and any supplements. These are typically available through your state’s “Freedom of Information Act.”
Involve the Prosecutor
At some point, the prosecutor will get involved. The police themselves may do it if there exists enough evidence that the assault did occur and that you were the victim of it. This is reserved for more severe forms of assault like family member assault (domestic assault), where enough evidence existed on the scene to warrant an arrest.
Lower-level assaults that were not commissioned in front of the officer and cannot be easily proven can still be taken to the prosecutor. You just may have to make contact with the prosecutor yourself and seek a warrant. The prosecutor will also be able to guide you in seeking a restraining order.
Assault Charges Can Shake You and Leave You Feeling Unsafe
If you’re the victim of assault charges, you could end up feeling insecure in your own home. Don’t let the fear win.
Take it one step at a time using the above instructions as your guide. For more legal information and articles, check out some of our additional posts!