Can I be denied the right to file charges against a ex co-worker?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I be denied the right to file charges against a ex co-worker?

I’m being charged with simple battery. I got into a fight with an ex co-worker. The state attorney is charging me with simple battery. I was actually defending myself from an attack from this ex co-worker. I tried to file charges against this co-worker but an officer said that he would not file the charges. Can I be denied the right to file charges against the ex co-worker in this situation?

Asked on December 6, 2016 under Criminal Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The state *can* decline to file charges--*you* don't file charges after all, but the government does. (That's why all criminal cases are "Statev vs. John Doe", or whatever the defendant's name is: it's the state that brings criminal charges.) You can certain contact a higher-level officer (a sergeant, a captain, etc.) or the prosecutor's office and see if someone else will "overrule" this officer file the charges, but ultimately, it is up to the police & prosecutor whether to bring charges, not you. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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