Can i get charges dropped if i am in college

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can i get charges dropped if i am in college

I got into a physical altercation where a female swung on me first and by retaliation I swung back; she ended up the a messed up eye and bruise on her face. Now I’m getting the charges pressed on me. What do I do? Is there a way to overrule the campus police or the school’s decision? It’s like they are just taking her side because she has the physical damage and I am a stronger girl.

Asked on November 8, 2016 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't "overrule" the decision to bring charges against you. What you can do is defend yourself against them, on the basis of self-defense: self-defense is a defense to assault IF it meets the criteria. Among other things, that means 1) you did not provoke the attack (you can't mock, harass, insult, etc. someone else into taking the first swing, then claim self-defense); 2) when you hit them, you were *defending* yourself, not retaliating--for example, if she hit you and looked like she was going to continue hitting you, then if you fight back, that is self defense, but if she hit you once and was done (obviously not continuing) and you hit her back when there was no more threat, that's not self defense (what you do when someone hits you once and is done is call the police on her); and 3) your response was proporationate--if she punches you in the face, it's reasonable to punch back; but if she just pushed or shove you, you don't punch.

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