How To File
A Criminal Complaint
WHERE DO YOU GO?
Against an adult: (18 years or older), you must go in person to:
Office of Fayette County Attorney
Fayette District Court Building
150 N. Limestone Street, Third Floor, Room D352
If you are filing a criminal complaint, do not bring children with you unless they will be supervised by
a responsible adult while you are speaking with our staff.
Complaints are taken Mon.-Thurs. from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Against a juvenile: (a person under the age of 18 years) you must go to:
Administrative Office of the Courts
Court Designated Worker
100 N. Upper Street
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO TAKE WITH YOU?
A valid I.D. with a picture.
You will need the full name and complete address of the person you wish to file against (the defendant). A date of birth and social security number of the defendant are also helpful.
An employee of the County Attorney’s Office will ask you to fill out a form (an affidavit) in which you will provide all of the information related to your complaint.
The affidavit will be reviewed, and a determination will be made regarding what charges, if any, will be contained in the complaint.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE COMPLAINT?
In an effort to resolve the case outside of the criminal court system, your complaint may be referred to mediation. If mediation is not successful, your complaint will again be considered for criminal prosecution; OR
Your complaint may be forwarded to the District Judge’s Office where a Judge will review the complaint and issue one of the following:
1. Criminal Summons:
A summons is an order that the defendant appear in district court. This is a notice and not an arrest. The summons will advise the defendant to appear in court for the arraignment.
2. Arrest Warrant:
The defendant will be arrested, taken to jail and later arraigned in District Court. An arrest warrant must be issued by the Fayette County District Judge’s Office.
The issuance of either a summons or an arrest warrant does not guarantee any of the following: an immediate court appearance; an arrest; the defendant will stay in jail after his/her arrest. The defendant could get out of jail on bond.
Your complaint is then forwarded to the Sheriff’s Office in the county where the defendant lives for service of the summons or arrest warrant.
THE COURT PROCESS
Arraignment is the first step in the court process. The charges are read, the defendant is advised of his/her rights, and a plea of guilty or not guilty is entered.
When and if your case is set for trial or preliminary hearing, it is your responsibility to contact the County Attorney’s Office with a list of all witnesses that need to be subpoenaed.
When you come to court, dress neatly and bring with you any witnesses and/or evidence (such as photos, receipts, damage estimates, etc.).
Complaints involving felonies and thefts need a report from the police department.
It takes seven to 10 days for a complaint to go through the review process.
The prosecutor (the County Attorney or an Assistant County Attorney) will represent the Commonwealth of Kentucky and will prosecute your criminal complaint.
Identify yourself to the prosecutor as the prosecuting witness. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
WHAT WILL THE COURT DO?
The case may be continued until another date. You should be prepared for this possibility.
The defendant may be found not guilty and the case may be dismissed.
The case may be referred to mediation or diversion.
The case (in the case of a felony charge) may be bound over to the grand jury.
The defendant may be found guilty. If found guilty, any of the following may occur:
1. Defendant may be fined, made to pay court costs, sentenced to jail, or all of these.
2. The defendant may receive a suspended sentence. The defendant would be given actual jail time, but would not serve it unless he/she committed another crime or violated Court order.
3. The defendant may be placed on probation.