What can I do to work out a significantly reduced fine or even community service regarding a citation for fighting?

I am an 18 college student. My friends and I got into a fight with some kids who lived in a suburb outside of my PA city. Their parents called the cops even though their kids were the aggressors and of course when the cops got on the scene they ran. This left us to have to be questioned by the cops. They mailed us citations for $440. I do not have the money to pay because I am in school but I am not sure what I can do to work something out. I have 10 days to reply to them. My options are to: (1) pay it; (2) send them $50 and collateral; (3) or appear in front of a judge.  If I go before the judge, what should I say?

Asked on January 1, 2011 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You should hire an attorney or seek to have counsel appointed for you if you are eligible.  The way that you have phrased this question it appears that you are not really the ones that started the fight and that you were left holding the bag, so to speak.  Yet in the last part of your question I feel that you are willing to throw in the towel without a defense at all.  Have you spoken with your parents here on this? Maybe they can help you start to deal with things?  The only way for you to have this matter cleared up completely is to fight it and to tell your side of the story.  And only an attorney in your area can let you know what your chances of success may be.  If you decide that it is not worth the fight - and make sure that it will not be on your record - then maybe you can plead to a lesser offense that will not haunt you the rest of your life and a lesser fine or no fine at all.  Good luck.


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