If a 25 Year old guy hits a 17 year old kid, and out of defense for his friend, another 17 year old kid hits the 25 year old guy back, what happens?

The 25 year old guy started bickering with a 17 year old in a group of 4 17 year old kids. At one point, the 25 year old guy hits the 17 year old he was bickering with. One of the other kids, out of defense for their friend, hit the 25 year old guy. Now, after all is said and done, the 25 year old guy is only charging the 17 year old kid. What rights or legal defense does the kid have?

Asked on May 22, 2009 under Criminal Law, New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The police usually determine who to arrest and the prosecutor determines who to charge and with what offense.

If the 17 year old youth, say Alex, hit another person, say Bill -- even if Bill was the guy who started the problem with someone, say Charley -- unless Alex has some valid defense -- such as self-defense or protecting someone else -- he is guilty of a crime. But if Bill's attack was over, Alex could not claim self-defense or to be protecting Charley.

Bill, the 25 year old may also be guilty of a crime for attacking Charley. But that does not take Alex off the hook.

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