Can a security guard swear out criminal charges?

If a security officer witnesses a misdemeanor and the police decline to prosecute, can a security guard file criminal charges with the court of jurisdiction? If so, what is the process?

Asked on June 24, 2012 under Criminal Law, New Mexico


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, only the district attorney's office (and perhaps the given state's attorney general's office under certain circumstances) located in the county and state can file a criminal complaint with respect to a criminal matter.

Private individuals per statute not with the above entities cannot swear out a criminal charge. As such, a private security officer cannot do what you wish to do.

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