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What are charges that happen from fraternity hazing gone wrong?

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

In the pursuit of brotherhood, some people in fraternities find themselves entangled in a web of dangerous hazing rituals that can have serious consequences. When these initiation practices spiral out of control, the legal fallout may include criminal charges or civil lawsuits.

Reading about the reality of fraternity hazing gone wrong is one way to understand what may happen next.

Criminal charges

When hazing rituals result in injury or death, criminal charges may happen. In cases where people inflict physical harm intentionally or due to gross negligence, fraternity members may face charges such as assault, manslaughter or even murder.

The severity of these charges depends on the harm caused during the hazing event. The legal system aims to deter future instances of such recklessness.

Involuntary manslaughter

Perhaps one of the most severe charges that can arise from fatal hazing incidents is involuntary manslaughter. This charge suggests that the death occurred as a direct result of the perpetrators’ reckless behavior. Conviction on this charge can lead to long prison sentences.

Civil lawsuits

Beyond criminal charges, fraternities may find themselves entangled in civil lawsuits seeking financial restitution for the victims or their families. Wrongful death suits, personal injury claims and negligence lawsuits are common. These legal actions not only aim to compensate the victims but also to hold the fraternity and its members accountable for their roles in the events leading to injury or death.

With 18.66 million students currently in college in America as of 2021, the allure of friendship can blind some to the potential dangers lurking within hazing rituals. In these cases, fraternities need to reassess their initiation practices.