Can I press charges for my son?

UPDATED: Nov 14, 2010

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Can I press charges for my son?

My 21 year old son (with existing heart conditions, and recovering from recent heart surgery) was put in a choke hold by his boss until he passed out. My son wants to forget the whole thing. Do I, as his father, have any recourse?

Asked on November 14, 2010 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Report the matter  to the police. In theory, the police can follow up and investigate any crime--and the prosecutor's office then prosecute, if warranted--regardless of whether it was reported by the alleged victim or not, or even if the alleged victim is against prosecution. That's because in a criminal matter, it's the state, not the alleged victim (who is often called a "complaining witness") is the party in interest and the one taking legal action to enforce its own laws. The reason I say "in theory" is that the police and prosecutors have substantial discretion in which cases to go after; it is very possible that they will respect the wishes of a competent adult (you son) if he asks them to not prosecute or take action. In terms of a civil lawsuit, btw, such as for assult, only your son, as the person injured, could bring one--you could not sue on your adult son's behalf.

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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