Bar fights may seem innocent enough—you’ve had too much to drink, and someone punches you—but they can be very dangerous. After a long week, you are letting off steam when wham! Things blow up. Maybe that’s how it ends, with a few blows delivered and everyone going home. However, if you’re unlucky or if things go out of control, the cops can be called and you could find yourself in serious trouble.
In actuality, brawls in bars are not so innocent. Fist fights are illegal in many different ways, even if no one is seriously hurt as a result of them. You may be charged with a variety of crimes even if you left the altercation with the other person as friends, as an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Orange County can attest to. Keep reading to learn the facts and then contact Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 for a free legal consutlation.
Charges of disrupting the peace
You might first face charges for disrupting the peace. This charge is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $400 fine and/or 90 days in county prison. It could happen as a result of making a physical challenge, taking part in a brawl in public, or using language to incite conflict. For instance, you can be seen to be disturbing the peace if you call someone names that you know will make them want to attack you.
Second, you might face assault charges. Unless particular circumstances, such as the use of a dangerous weapon, are present, this offense is often a misdemeanor. Typically, it comes with a $1,000 fine and/or up to six months in county jail. A separate charge from inflicting actual physical harm on another person is assault, which is defined as attempting violence and inciting fear of bodily harm in another person.
Third, a battery may be used to charge you. This offense entails the use of actual force and is distinct from assault. A misdemeanor charge carries a maximum penalty of six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000 if there was no physical harm or injury. If there was significant physical harm, a criminal prosecution may be brought.
You have defense options
Intoxication is not a valid defense against accusations stemming from a bar brawl, however there may be others. Your Orange County criminal defense lawyer cannot raise this as a defense in your case if you voluntarily decided to get intoxicated. However, you may be able to fight the charges against you if you can prove that you acted in self-defense or in defense of another person.
Our Orange County criminal defense lawyers at the Chambers Law Firm have expertise defending people accused of assault, battery, and other felonies resulting from bar fights and other incidents. Set up a free initial appointment with us by calling 714-760-4088 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org right now to find out how we can assist you.