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My daughter received a citation for harassment, under PA criminal law can charges be dropped if she didn't start the incident

Hanover Township, PA |

My daughter went to a playground with 2 friends, there was a verbal altercation between the three girls and another girl. My daughter was shoved, she then defended herself & hit the girl. the girl pulled my daughters shirt down & exposed her. Someone broke up the altercation then the two other girls with my daughter hit the girl separately. All three girls received citations for harassment. Since the girl shoved my daughter first should i file the same citation? If she pleads guilty can that be used against her if she decides to file other charges?

all 4 girls are 15

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Attorney answers 2


You do not indicate the ages of the persons involved, so the answer will necessarily be phrased in general terms without reference to the potential differences that may apply if this were charged as an adult or a juvenile case.

In general, a counter-complaint can be filed by your daughter, against the other girl. This will not automatically result in the dismissal of the charge against your daughter. This is true even if the other girl pleads guilty. This is true, even if the other girl agrees to the dismisal of the charge against your daughter.

Respectfully, you must remember that the criminal case is titled as The People vs. _____; The Commonwealth vs. _____; or, the State vs. _____. In a criminal case, the party at interest is the State, not the victim. Consult with a local criminal defense lawyer about the charges filed against your daughter, and the impact that her filing a counter-complaint will have. Good luck.

This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship; or, constitute either legal advice or attorney advertising. Rather, given the nature of this forum, it is offered solely for information purposes, as a starting point for you to use when speaking directly to a lawyer in your State. Do not assume that the legal conclusions I mention that pertain to NJ are applicable in your State. Since the facts of each case are different, it is critical for you to consult with qualified counsel with whom information can be shared and assessed under an attorney-client privilege, so that competent advice can be obtained on which you can make informed decisions. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer admitted to practice in your State before making any decisions about your case.


You should contact a lawyer. Your daughter might be eligible for a dismissmal with satisfaction or other disposition w=that would avoid the possibility of conviction. i offer free initial consultations.

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