Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

Let's say there is a (road-rage based) physical fight in the street. It is not a bad fight and no injuries. It ends in one car fleeing on a red light, and the two other people getting back in their cars and staying stopped at the red light.

Neither parties called 911.

If a witness had called 911 during the incident, but nobody involved called 911, could someone still be cited or charged with a crime? Would the police take the witnesses license plate information (if given) and look up the individuals involved and track them down to charge them? Or would it not be an issue because neither party called the police and the event is over?

Asked on 11/06/13, 6:39 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Joe Dane Law Office of Joe Dane
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There is a Penal Code - 415(1) that makes it illegal to fight (or challenge someone to fight) in a public place. They could be prosecuted.

In all likelihood if the participants separated and didn't want any charges submitted to the DA, the odds are nothing will happen.

Please pardon any typos - posted via mobile device.

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Answered on 11/06/13, 9:32 pm
Zadik Shapiro Law Offices of C. Zadik Shapiro
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Yes it can be charged even if neither of the parties called 911 or asked for the charges.But I agree with Mr. Dane that if neither party wants the other charged, charges are unlikely.

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Answered on 11/06/13, 9:36 pm
Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman
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Police and prosecutors can act on information from witnesses, regardless of whether anyone involved asks for their help. There's no good reason to require a complaint from a participant, and plenty of good reasons not to.

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Answered on 11/07/13, 12:02 pm

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