If someone initially declines to file a criminal complaint, can they do so later?

UPDATED: Jul 28, 2011

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If someone initially declines to file a criminal complaint, can they do so later?

When asked if someone wanted to press charges against another person, the person asked said no.

Asked on July 28, 2011 Illinois


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If a person declines to press charges against someone for the filing of a criminal complaint initially, that person can later change his or her mind and then decide that criminal charges are desired to be filed.

Even if the person is adamant about filing criminal charges, the district attorney's office based upon the police report could decide that it wishes to file a criminal complaint. The rationale is that the district attorney's office represents the people of a given state and it is this office's obligation to protect the people living within.

Law enforcement and the district attorney's office are aware that immediately after a possible criminal incident has happened, the victim may be reluctant to press charges for various reasons and later the victim changes his or her mind.

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