College is a time of experimentation and social growth. You may find yourself going to parties on or off campus, trying new experiences and developing a new kind of relationship. Inevitably, some of your interactions with other people won’t end well.
Especially if they take place in front of an audience or where there is plenty of alcohol available, what might start as a minor disagreement can snowball into a catastrophic and physical conflict. A fight at a college party may seem like a minor issue, but it could potentially lead to criminal court proceedings.
The victim or the police could choose to prosecute you
The police can arrest and charge you if someone reports the fight. Even the next day, someone who has been hurt in a fight has the right to ask the state to prosecute if they did not initiate the physical violence. In fact, the other party doesn’t even need to suffer serious injuries to bring a claim of assault against you. They only have to show that they had a credible fear for their own safety and reason to believe that you were capable of following through with the threat against their well-being.
The consumption of alcohol will not reduce the penalties that you face or the severity of the charges brought against you. Not only could you wind up with a criminal record, but you could face discipline from the school that might include terminating your financial aid, placing you on academic probation or rescinding your enrollment.
Understanding the seriousness of assault charges for college students can help you respond in a way that minimizes the impact of the charges.