Initiation of Charges

Initiation of Charges 2017-05-05T10:33:01+00:00

If you believe that someone has committed a crime, you should first contact the police so that an investigation can take place. Oftentimes, the police cannot charge a person with the commission of a misdemeanor crime if it did not occur in the officer’s presence. Consequently, law enforcement may contact the County Attorney’s Office and seek criminal charges. If you want to bring a factual circumstance to the attention of the County Attorney to see if a crime was committed, you will be instructed to fill out a statement form and sign it under oath and penalty of perjury. For a statement form, click here. It is important to remember these facts about the statement form:

1) It is a crime to falsify information on the complaint. If it is shown that someone knowingly falsified information on the complaint, they can be charged with perjury, a class D felony punishable by 1-5 years in prison.

2) An attorney will review your statement within 24 hours of it being filed. That attorney will decide whether a crime has been committed and whether sufficient information is available to prosecute the crime. Many times your statement will need to be referred back to law enforcement for additional investigation.

3) Filing the statement form does not mean that charges will be taken.

4) The County Attorney’s Office cannot conduct additional investigation from the facts presented on the form. If the facts on the form are insufficient to provide a basis from which charges can be filed, you will be notified and no further action will be taken on your complaint.

5) If charges are taken, we are not “your attorney”. The County Attorney’s office does not represent you personally. The County Attorney’s Office will prosecute the crime that was committed against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. While the County Attorney’s Office will seek input from victims, witnesses cannot later demand that charges be dropped or make other demands about how the case must be resolved.

6) If charges are taken, you cannot demand that they be dropped. Once the crime has been charged, you are a witness to the crime. The Commonwealth decides whether the charges will be pursued or dropped. This decision is based on a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, the wishes of the complaining witness, the strength of the case, the availability of corroborating witnesses and the history of the parties, if any.