Should I file a counterclaim for a criminal charge in which both parties were at fault?

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Should I file a counterclaim for a criminal charge in which both parties were at fault?

My neighbor and I had a verbal dispute (no physical contact). Threats were made by both he and I. His girlfriend, who was present, charged me with “Making communications in an annoying/alarming manner”. After a few days, we talked it out and she tried to have the charges dropped today but they would not let her. She says she will tell the judge that she wanted them dropped. Since the threats were back and forth between myself and her boyfriend, is it in my best interests legally to file a counter charge of the same. That way even if it’s dismissed, will the court fees be split?

Asked on November 19, 2010 under Criminal Law, New Jersey

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I think that it may be best for you to consult with a criminal attorney in your area to help with the matter.  Prosecutors do not like just dropping charges against a party.  They have to have good reason to do so and they need some help sometimes just putting things "in perspective."  I am unsure that you can just file a "counterclaim" in the criminal world of prosecution. That is a civil term of art.  You would have to fill out a complaint as a complaining witness.  What happened between you may not even be seen as a defense or it may be depending on the facts as they unraveled.  Get help.  Good luck.


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