Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Once the law enforcement agency has decided who they believe was the "primary aggressor", they usually make an arrest and forward what is called a "probable cause affidavit" to the State Attorney's Office (you may have heard the term District Attorney or "D.A." which is the same thing). At this point, an intake attorney or the prosecutor that is assigned to the case makes what is called a filing decision as to what formal charges to bring against the person who called the police. In this situation, the charge is likely to be assault or battery which are usually misdemeanors. If the injury is serious or a weapon was used, the person may be charged with a felony battery or aggravated assault.
In this situation, the alleged victim can contact the prosecutor and advise that they may have arrested the wrong person and request that they be permitted to complete what is sometimes called a "drop charge" affidavit, stating that they do no wish to assist in the prosecution of the person. However, the decision as to whether or not charges are pursued is ultimately up to the D.A..
I hope this helps!
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Hello again Customer,
Unfortunately it is often difficult or impossible to determine why the law enforcement officers made the decision that they did. They are limited by the evidence that they are presented with at the scene and once they make an arrest, there is no way to go back and make them reconsider. The best thing to do is contact the prosecutor and explain what really happened before an Information (formal charging document) is filed.
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