College kids are notorious for loving to throw big parties, try new things and learn through experience. While college students are generally more mature than the typical teenager, they still do not have a fully formed frontal lobe. In other words, consequences for their actions aren’t always the first consideration on their mind.
When you add alcohol into that situation, minor issues can quickly escalate and become volatile unnecessarily. College students in South Carolina who get into fights at parties may not think much of their behavior at the time. However, in the days that follow the fight, there may be serious consequences.
The person who started the fight could face criminal charges
Every fight is as unique as the people who participate in it. There is no black and white rule regarding who ends up facing criminal and academic penalties for a physical altercation. In some cases, both parties end up in equal amounts of trouble. Other times, only one person has consequences.
However, there are certain guiding principles that can help you determine the likely consequence a student will face after a fight. South Carolina law penalizes all forms of assault, not just those that result in serious injury.
If one student uses threatening language or fighting words to initiate an altercation, that could result in disciplinary or legal action. Similarly, breaking the physical boundaries by striking, pushing, kicking or even spitting on another person could also result in serious consequences.
Once someone has struck another person, the injured party does have the right to defend themselves. Claims of self-defense often factor into fights, but it is important to understand that the evidence, including witness statements, must validate claims of self-defense. Furthermore, if the amount of force used is excessive, that may limit the help offered by a self-defense strategy to any criminal charges.
Fights can mean assault charges and academic penalties
College students who get into serious fights at parties could end up facing charges as adults. If it is a first-time offense and the other party is not permanently injured, the consequences could range from fines and probation to community service. For those with a previous criminal record, or in the event of a fight that causes severe bodily harm to one person, the consequences may be more severe.
In addition to criminal proceedings, those involved in a college fight may also end up subject to administrative proceedings at the college level. Many schools have zero tolerance policies for violence, which could mean academic probation or even expulsion from college. Other students may risk losing their scholarships if they engage in physical altercations with other students.
If your college student has been in a serious physical fight, it’s probably time to start developing a criminal defense strategy and planning for any academic administrative hearings that will follow.