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Can a police officer recommend to juveniles to fight in their garage so they wont be bothered?

Greeley, CO |

My son was charged with disorderly conduct for defending himself against a bully that put his friend in the hospital last weekend. When the police arrived the officers told my son and his friend, that my son would be in no trouble. Then the officer from that incident showed up and said he was charging my son because he took his phone out of his pocket and didn't call the police, therefor committing to the fight. My son was not there for the first incident yet the officer said he was charging him as he dealt with same boys two weeks in a row. The part I am really baffled about is that he told my son, father, brother and myself that if he wanted to fight do it in his garage all he wanted and he wouldn't interfere. This seems egregious is there recourse?

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Attorney answers 1


I am not exactly sure what the officer said, nor am I exactly sure of your situation, but the basic answer to the "is fighting illegal" question is this: every person has a right to defend himself or herself. The limit to that right is when you go beyond the amount of force necessary to defend yourself. For example, the old adage of bringing a knife to a gunfight is one that most of us know: the opposite scenario of bringing a gun to a knife fight would be an example of using more force necessary to defend yourself. You would be subject to a criminal charge under that set of facts that I used in my example. However, if your son fights to defend himself from a reasonable fear of an imminent threat of bodily harm then he did not commit a crime. I have had many cases involving a mutual fight and usually those cases are resolved favorably for the defendant ... although sometimes only after a jury has to sort it out.

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