Q: I was violently assaulted by my brother in February of 2023. I didn’t press charges; is it too late for me to do so now?

When my brother attacked me, he punched me in the face and broke my face open. I had gone to the hospital and had to get stitches. The cops came to the house after my brother punched me but I didn’t press charges then. While at the hospital my husband (who witnessed the assault) called the cops again and had me talk to the police again but I still didn’t press charges. I don’t know why, I think I was afraid. But now I’m feeling the aftermath of the trauma and now I’m wondering if it’s too late to press charges against my brother for attacking me?

2 Lawyer Answers

A: It is not too late to file the complaint, but as a practical matter a prosecutor may be reluctant to bring charges 6 months after the fact.

Albin Moser
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  • Providence, RI
  • Licensed in Rhode Island

A: It's not too late for you to file a complaint with the police department. It is up to the police whether or not to investigate it. It is up to prosecutors whether or not to bring evidence to a grand jury, get an indictment and charge your brother. You have other options in addition to this. Whether or not there is a criminal case, you can sue for a civil restraining order if your brother continues to threaten, harass, intimidate or harm you.

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