Can I press charges for my son?

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.


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