How To Press Charges After An Assault

Written by J. Hirby and Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff  

People who are assaulted might want to press charges against their assailants for their own peace of mind and protection. An assault occurs when one person commits actions that put another person in a situation where he or she can reasonably fear that he or she will receive battery. Battery is when a person receives bodily harm. In instances where people are assaulted but police officers were not called on the scene or did not arrive on the scene in time, people can still press charges against their assailants by following the appropriate channels.

File Charges with the Police Department

People can press charges after an assault by filing them with their local police departments. When they visit their local police departments, they should express what they want to do and then provide police officers with the requested information. Some of the information that police officers will need to fill out an assault report include the victim’s name, the assailant’s name, both their addresses (if known), where the assault occurred, the date and time that it occurred, how it occurred and more. If people don’t know their assailants, then police officers will likely ask for descriptions of them.


After police officers obtain the details that they need from the victims, they will then issue the victims copies of the reports that they filed. After that, the complaints will be taken to the prosecutor’s office where the prosecutor will look over the report to determine whether or not he or she believes there is enough information contained within the report to prosecute the assailant. If the prosecution believes that there is enough evidence to prosecute, then an arrest warrant will be issued for the assailant’s arrest from the judge. Additionally, police officers will investigate the crime further to obtain any additional evidence.

Orders of Protection

Some people are afraid to file assault charges on their assailants for fear of retribution. However, when filing assault charges, people may also seek to obtain orders of protection from the court as well, which are, essentially, restraining orders that if violated will result in the arrest of the assailant. Such orders require that the assailant not come within so many feet of the victim or any location where the victim is believed to be.

Pressing assault charges might sometimes be necessary for some people to put incidents behind them and receive a sense of closure. However, they should ensure that they follow the appropriate procedures to do so to ensure their safety and the successful convictions of their assailants.

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