Last night, you and your frat brothers threw an epic party. You hired the best DJ on campus. You had more Jell-O shots than you can count and played beer pong like a pro. In short, you had a blast.
But at a certain point, things get heated. You spotted a guy flirting with your girlfriend, and you rushed over to tell him off. Pretty soon, fists were swinging, and your friends had to break you up.
You were awakened this morning by a loud knock on the front door. The police entered the house and placed you under arrest for assault. You’re stunned. It was a stupid, drunken fight – and you both entered into it willingly. Could you suddenly be facing criminal charges?
Simple assault in Texas
In Texas, when two people start a fight with each other voluntarily – and no one person initiated an attack on the other – this is known as “mutual combat,” which could lead to criminal charges. You could face simple assault charges for injuring someone – or even just threatening bodily harm to someone. This usually results in a misdemeanor charge. Further, if you cause serious bodily harm to someone or use a weapon during the fight, this charge will likely increase to aggravated assault, which is a felony. Any of these charges could mean the possibility of jail time as well as steep fines.
In addition to the immediate penalties you could face, there are other, long-term effects of a simple assault charge. Even if you’re not convicted, the offense still goes on your permanent criminal record – which will show up anytime anyone does a standard background check on you. This can make it hard for you to get a job, rent an apartment or go to grad school.
When you’re in college, it can sometimes feel like your actions on campus don’t have any consequences. It may seem like you have permission to drink when you’re under 21 or smoke a joint at a party. However, it’s important to remember that the law is the law – no matter where you are. If you’re a college student ready to embark on your professional career, having a criminal record can throw a major wrench in your future plans. It’s important to take strong, defensive action against any criminal charges you face.