Frequently Asked Questions
If you believe that you have been the victim of a crime you should immediately call your local police department. If the police inform you that they are unable to assist, you may be advised to file a private criminal complaint. To file a private criminal complaint you must do the following:
You must go to the District Court in the Township or Borough where the crime occurred. For a list of District Court information see this document: Delaware County, Pennsylvania Magisterial District Courts by Municipality.
You must have the name and address of the person you are accusing of committing the crime against you. You should be prepared to put into writing your version of how the crime occurred. This includes the names and addresses of any witnesses. You complete the Private Criminal Complaint paperwork, provided by the District Court Staff, you must take the paperwork to the Office of the District Attorney for approval.
Once you arrive at the District Attorney’s Office an Assistant District Attorney will review the Private Criminal Complaint and assess whether a crime has been committed. If the reviewing Assistant District Attorney has approved the Private Criminal Complaint, you must go back to the same District Court and give the complaint to the District Court Staff. You will then receive notice of a Court date in mail.
You may hire a private attorney to represent you. If you need a reference it is recommended that you contact:
The Public Defender’s Office provides legal assistance to persons who are accused of criminal offenses by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and who cannot afford the expense of presenting a defense to the charges against them.
Office of the Public Defender
313 W. Front Street
Media, PA 19063
Generally, if you are a victim or witness to a crime and are needed to appear in court, the Assistant District Attorney assigned to prosecute that case will have a subpoena sent to you. If you receive a subpoena directing you to appear and have not been contacted by the assigned Assistant District Attorney feel free to contact the District Attorney’s Office at (610) 891-4161. The prosecuting Assistant District Attorney’s name should appear in the upper right-hand corner of your subpoena and all questions should be directed to that named ADA.