I have decided that I would like to take my abuser to court and have criminal charges filed against him. I understand

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Customer: Hello, I have decided that I would like to take my abuser to court and have criminal charges filed against him. I understand the statue of limitations, but would like to know how I can proceed. Do I need a lawyer, a prosecutor, etc.?
JA: The Lawyer can help you with the statute of limitations for that. Where are you located? These laws vary by state.
Customer: Tennessee
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: My abuser is currently incarcerated, but has a court date soon. This has driven me to seek legal counsel, as I don’t feel safe with him released.
Answered by Zoey_ JD in 8 mins 2 months ago
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Zoey_ JD
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Zoey_ JD, Expert

Hi, 

I’m Zoey, and I am an experienced attorney. I know your question is important to you and I will be giving it the time and attention it deserves.

In case you would like a faster response, the site will automatically offer you an optional phone call for an additional fee. No need to choose a phone call unless you'd like one. I’m happy to type or to talk.

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Zoey_ JD, Expert

Are you asking how you get the ball rolling for a prosecution?

Customer
Hello Zoey, My name is***** is correct, I would like more information about the prosecution process.
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Zoey_ JD, Expert

Only a prosecutor can bring charges.   The way to start this off is to report the crime to the police in the jurisdiction where the crime occurred.   If what you tell them gives the police probable cause to believe that a particular person may have abused you, they will turn the matter over to the DA's Office for the filing of criminal charges.

If the police don't seem interested in your matter, then in most jurisdictions you can go over their heads and go to the DA's Office and ask to speak to a prosecutor.    Prosecutors are the ones who actually file charge in the first place.  So regardless of what the police think, if you can convince a prosecuting attorney, the case can go forward.

Customer
Okay. So this abuse happened regularly when I was a child, until I was 16. When I was 16, I spoke with the Chattanooga, TN's Children's Advocacy Center and they took my testimony, as well as performed medical exams. Since I was a child, my guardians kept me out of the loop and all I really know is that they told me the DA chose to not pursue due to too much circumstantial evidence. But I have witnesses, my testimony, text message records, as well as my medical exam. It has to be enough for someone to give me the time of day. I really need this closure in my life. I'm 20 now and in therapy but I have decided I need to do this for myself.
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Zoey_ JD, Expert

Thanks for clarifying.   If you have evidence that the DA did not consider at the time, present it to the police and the to the prosecutor.  They can reopen the investigation and go forward.

Customer
How do I do this? Go to a police station and say I'd like to make a report?
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Zoey_ JD, Expert

Yup,  That's what you'd do.  You would go to the police station that serves the community where the crime was committed and bring some of the evidence you don't think they may have known about the last time.   Tell them that you want your case reopened.

Customer
Okay that sounds fairly simple. I will have to get in touch with the childrens advocacy center, as I'm sure they still have my records and maybe they can give me the detectives information that was on my case. I know his last name but not any contact info.
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Zoey_ JD, Expert

Right.  If the detective is still there, he'd be the person you'd want to speak to.

Customer
okay
Customer
thank you so much
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Zoey_ JD, Expert

You're most welcome!

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Zoey_ JD, Expert

Any other follow-up questions?
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Zoey_ JD, Expert

If there is anything more I can help with for this issue, you can always find me again on this chat thread. If you have new questions about other topics, just start a separate question as a brand new chat and start it with "For Zoey Only" and/or type @Zoey_JD. You’ll be able to select my username to tag me in the question.

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