Will the police notify someone if there is a charge against them? 49 Answers as of July 09, 2013

Someone is claiming they filed a charge on someone else but the person being charged hasn't heard anything about it. Would the police notify the person on the charge?

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Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
Someone can go to the police station to file charges but really what they are doing is making a report to the police and then the police make a report to the prosecuting attorney who then decides whether to file criminal charges. Many times people file complaints but the prosecutor decides not to file criminal charges. If you get charge you will definetly know about it. You may receive something in the mail informing you of the charges and a court date or you may be arrested.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/12/2011
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
No, the police would not necessarily contact someone with pending charges. Ultimately, whether the charges are filed with the court is up to the prosecutor. I'd recommend contacting the local court.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/6/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
They will notify him by arresting him if a warrant has been issued. Sometimes the court will send you a notice. The best way to find out if there is a warrant out is to call the records division of the police department involved and ask.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/20/2011
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Riana Durrett
Sometimes a defendant in a criminal case will be served with a summons, rather than being arrested on an warrant for arrest. However that occurs less often than the arrest scenario. One measure that can be taken is that a potential defendant can retain an attorney to find out whether there is an ongoing investigation and attempt to assist in avoiding an arrest.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 9/19/2011
Law Offices of Sean Logue
Law Offices of Sean Logue | Sean Logue
You would recieve a summons in the mail. Only then will you learn about the charge.Until that occurs, there may have been a report made, but the police have it at their discretion (unless a private complaint is filed).
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 9/19/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    You should receive something in the mail, a phone call, or a visit from a law enforcement officer on most occasions. If you feel there is a warrant outstanding, I suggest you contact an attorney to verify same or seek a bonding company for them to check on it for you.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/19/2011
    D T Pham Associates, PLLC
    D T Pham Associates, PLLC | Duncan T Pham
    There is no notification, only investigation.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/23/2013
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky | Michael Brodsky
    The answer is, not always. If the police do not believe they have "probable cause" *i.e.,* reasonable and articulable suspicion that a crime was committed and the person accused committed it, then they cannot arrest and they will either conduct further investigation which usually but not necessarily involves contacting the person, forward it to the prosecutor to see what they want to do, or simply file it away. However, the person accused should make sure the court has a current address by updating their Dept of Licensing information. If the charge is filed the court will normally issue a summons which permits the person to appear in court without being arrested. If the summons is returned as undeliverable, an arrest warrant will issue. However, as Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson observed in *Watts v. Indiana*, 388 U.S. 49, 59, 69 S. Ct. 1356, 93 L. Ed. 1801 (1949),* Any lawyer worth his salt will tell the suspect in no uncertain terms to make no statements to police under any circumstances.* So if you are contacted by police, *do not answer any questions and call a lawyer immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    A person cannot file a criminal charge against another person. The only person who can authorize criminal charges is the prosecuting attorney. If charges are authorized by the prosecutor, a warrant for the person's arrest is issued by the court. The police may or may not notify the person of the warrant. The police could just arrest the person based on the warrant.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You will either get a "courtesy call" from the detective or they will arrest you on a warrant. Either way you should retain an attorney to surrender you on the warrant and not discuss the matter with anyone under any circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    They will generally notify the person of the warrant by knocking on the door with a set of handcuffs. If you think a warrant might issue for your arrest, contact a local bondsman and make arrangements for them to check frequently to see if a warrant issues. Then, you can use them to make a no arrest bond. You should also be thinking of hiring a lawyer if there is a possibility of being arrested.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Eventually if they intend to pursue it but, they may not.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Law Office of Gerald E. Smith
    Law Office of Gerald E. Smith | Gerald E. Smith
    A lot of the counties have great web sites that allow one to look up any warrants for arrest. You can look it up and determine if a warrant (charges) have been filed against you. Do the police have to notify you? Normally the Prosecuting Agency will send out a letter with a court date indicating that if you fail to appear then a warrant will be issued. They will send out the letter usually to the last address provided to the DMV.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Fabian & Associates, Inc.
    Fabian & Associates, Inc. | Stephen G. Fabian, Jr.
    Not necessarily, sometimes they just issue a warrant from the Court and come and place the person under arrest.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    It is unusual for the police to request the District Attorney without trying to talk with the person to be charged. However, if you are going to be charged the District Attorneys office must make an attempt to give you the court date.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    If charges are formally filed, the police would indeed go and probably take the accused into custody, or would want to speak to him in person at the station before lodging charges, in order to get his side of the story, which would assist them in determining if charges should be filed. Charges are just not filed and filed away for future reference, they usually are acted upon right away. The only way they would not be, is if the accused was not identified by the complainant, or the accused's whereabouts are not known by anybody.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    Individuals cannot file criminal charges against another person. The only entity that can criminally charge someone for violating a state offense is the District Attorney's Office. The DA will either send the police to notify you that a charge has been filed or send you a notification in the mail. Depending on how serious the charge is, the DA's office usually sends notice via U.S. mail.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/6/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    Sometimes you would get a call from the warrant department, but usually you would find out by either receiving a summons for court in the mail or hung on your door, or by being arrested on the warrant.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin | Daniel K Martin
    Most counties have a phone number that you can call to check on warrants. The first thing to do is call the Sheriff Department in the county that the events supposedly took place. To specifically answer your question the police do not necessary notify someone that a report has been filed against them. If the allegations are very serious the police are very likely to go looking for the person.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC | Jeffery A. Cojocar
    Usually they will call or send a letter, unless a serious felony.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/9/2013
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    Generally, yes, the person will be notified, or arrested. We recommend you retain a criminal lawyer to advise you as to all your rights and to check into the matter. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    No necessarily. Usually they will contact you before they accept formal charges. But many times, they just accept charges and issue a warrant for your arrest. Best way to know if you have a warrant is to call a bail bonds agency and ask them to run you.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    Yes, not only might law enforcement notify the accused by means of a summons to appear sent through the mail, but the cops might also show up on his doorstep with a warrant for his arrest.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Watkins Law Office
    Watkins Law Office | Bob Watkins
    When someone "files a charge" on someone it may lead to a police investigation. It is unlikely the person would be charged with an offense simply because of an allegation. What the person can expect is the police contacting him and offering to get his side. He may wish to discuss the possibility of a statement with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Shane Law Office
    Shane Law Office | Robert J. Shane
    If the matter is a felony offense, the police will submit their reports to the county attorney for charging. This process could take up to 3 months. If the prosecutor determines that there is probable cause to believe a crime was committed, he or she will draft a formal complaint listing the charges and facts of the case. The complaint will be attached to either a warrant for the arrest of the suspect or to summons to appear in court on a certain date and time.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    No. The court should send out a letter indicating there is a court date set or a warrant has been issued, but even that is not a certainty. The best thing to do is call the county courthouse where the offense occurred for verification.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Yes, usually by mail, but could simply come to arrest them if it is serious.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Sometimes but that is usualy by trying to talk to the person of interest.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Martin Law Offices, PLLC
    Martin Law Offices, PLLC | Matthew T. Martin
    If you are not currently in custody or arrested as a result of the charges being filed, then you will likely be notified only by the court.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Allan & Summary
    Allan & Summary | Justin Summary
    If a warrant was issued the person may not know about it until the police contact them. If a summons was issued then notice would be mailed to that persons house. A summons may or may not be issued on a misdemeanor case and a warrant is typically issued on felony cases.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    Sometimes the person filling out the report doesn't give the officer all the contact info; other times the police may investigate a little before contacting. There is no set rule. One piece of advice: If the police ask you to come in to answer some questions they are usually looking to arrest you. You should contact a lawyer right away and exercise your right to remain silent even when 100% innocent.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    If there is a charge against you, a summons will appear in your mail. The police will "notify you" by arresting you if there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest but they will not likely just stop by or call to let you know there is a charge.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Laguzzi Law, P.C.
    Laguzzi Law, P.C. | Carina Laguzzi
    The person will either get arrested, or be notified so that they can make arrangements to turn themselves in. The person can always call the police to see if there is an arrest warrant for them. An experienced criminal defense attorney can then negotiate your surrender.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    Yes, they would arrest the person and bring them to jail. Although, in minor cases without mandatory restraining orders, a summons is possible.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Expect a letter from either the police or the local prosecutor or DA's office.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    Maybe. Or they might notify the charged person by arresting them. Calling the police to ask is unwise, because it may spur them to arrest when otherwise the case would have fallen through the cracks, so the way to find out is to talk to a lawyer, who can more easily check without raising red flags.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    Eventually. It would be a good idea to call the police and inquire. The police have more than one case to deal with and some other more important case may be causing a delay in notification.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    Generally if the police wish to arrest someone they will come out and arrest them. In other cases the DA's office may send a letter to the persons last known address advising them there is a charge that has been filed and tell them to appear in court on a given date. However, it is always wise to check with law enforcement yourself or have a criminal defense law firm do so for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Law Offices of Aaron T. Hicks
    Law Offices of Aaron T. Hicks | Aaron Hicks
    Not necessarily, but it is possible that they may show up at their home or place of work. Alternatively a warrant could be issued for their arrest without their knowledge, or they could receive a letter from the prosecuting agency (typically the District Attorney) with a scheduled court date for that person to appear. The person can usually check the Sheriff's website in the county of which the reside to see if a warrant has been issued.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Law Office of Rodney Nosratabadi
    Law Office of Rodney Nosratabadi | Rodney Nosratabadi
    The police are under no obligation to advise you about pendng charges.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Adam L. Bantner, P.A.
    Adam L. Bantner, P.A. | Adam L. Bantner, P.A.
    The police notify the person by either arresting them or serving them with a summons/Notice to Appear.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Yes,while they are taking them to jail.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/24/2013
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    They way the police normally notify someone of a charge is to come and arrest them.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/3/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    If the police decide to investigate a complaint you will know because they will contact you or attempt to contact you. If charges are pressed by the prosecutor, it is not up to the police or anyone else to inform you that charges have been filed and a warrant has been issued for your arrest. You can always contact the prosecutor to see if charges have been pressed. If so, contact an attorney as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Sometimes they notify the person, sometimes they just come out and arrest them, and sometimes they just put the warrant into"Lien" and next time they are stopped the person gets arrested. An attorney could check to see if there is a warrant out for the person.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    Not necessarily. If someone makes a complaint to the police, the police will investigate and unsually they will attempt to contact the suspect as part of their investigation. It is also possible that the police will simply forward the matter to the prosceuting attorney for a charging decision.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Eventually the police will likely want to question the accused. Except for very limited circumstances, a citizen cannot file charges against another citizen; that is within the almost exclusive authority of police and prosecutors. If an when the police come calling, it is best to remain silent and to invoke one's right to an attorney. People have a tendency to want to tell "their side" of the story. Save it for your attorney. Police are trained interrogators, don't give them any ammunition.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/16/2011
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