A fun night out at the local bar can sometimes end in handcuffs. You may be unsure about what will happen next if you or a loved one were involved in a bar fight. What happens if you were only defending yourself? Individuals embroiled in bar fights are generally charged with assault and battery.
This is punishable by criminal penalties, which can have serious long-term consequences for your life. You should consult with a qualified criminal defense attorney to determine whether you may face jail time following a physical altercation at a bar and choose your best legal options.
Criminal Charges If You Were Involved in a Bar Fight
- Disorderly Intoxication
You may be charged with disorderly intoxication if you became a threat or danger to people around you when under the influence of alcohol. The bar’s law enforcement or management has the right to ask you to leave if you are engaged in such behavior. You may face a second-degree misdemeanor charge if someone gets hurt in an incident.
- Disorderly Conduct
Disorderly conduct or breach of the peace is made for creating a sense of public decency. You may be charged with disorderly conduct if you are in a bar fight in public view since you are essentially disturbing the peace. This type of charge can result in a second-degree misdemeanor. It may lead to jail time or large fines. Bar brawlers often face convictions in the form of disorderly conduct.
The court may find you in breach of peace even if you provoked someone into violence using insults or challenges regardless of whether alcohol was involved or not. Minor misdemeanors are usually not accompanied by jail time. Moreover, first-degree misdemeanors may attract large penalties and 180 days in jail.
- Aggravated Battery
An aggravated battery charge means that you had an intent to hurt another person seriously and cause bodily harm during the bar fight. Generally, an aggravated battery charge is slapped if you pulled out or made use of a deadly weapon. This can be a bottle picked from the table or a pocket knife. According to Alabama statutes, the aggravated battery can result in a second-degree felony charge.
The loss of life during a bar fight is tragic, completely unnecessary, and avoidable. It should not happen even though it has already happened countless times before. This type of crime during a bar fight cannot be categorized as voluntary or involuntary.
Voluntary manslaughter occurs when a person intentionally commits murder because of provocation. Involuntary manslaughter is when the incident occurs in the heat of the moment. It may be emotional or passion-fueled resulting in an immediate intent of committing an act that takes a person’s life.
For instance, a person involved in a bar fight, trips, and hits their head on the table. This will be categorized as involuntary manslaughter. With that said, both types are likely to lead to prison time.
Factors Affecting Assault Crime Penalties in Alabama
Penalties for assault crime usually hinge on the level of harm inflicted. Alabama law recognizes physical injury, serious physical injury, and serious or permanent disability or disfigurement. Judges and juries are required to decide on the level of harm inflicted based on the case law and legal definitions.
- Physical Injury
This is defined as inflicting substantial pain or an impairment of physical condition. Examples include significant bruising, cuts, or a busted lip. Severe stomp on the foot or a kick to the groin have been included in physical injuries.
- Serious Physical Injury
This includes those injuries that can create a substantial risk of death. It may cause protracted or serious disfigurement, loss or impairment of bodily function controlling organs, and impairment of health. For instance, a victim that suffered a deep knife wound or gunshot wound has sustained serious physical injuries. In some cases, internal injuries and broken bones may also be considered serious physical injuries.
- Disability or Disfigurement
The disfigurement needs to be permanent and serious, such as loss of hearing or sight. It may include the loss of use of a person’s arm, hand, or legs. Scarring may be included in the definition of disfigurement if it is pronounced, such as facial scarring.
Likelihood of Civil Personal Injury Suit
You may face a personal injury lawsuit in addition to criminal charges. The person you harmed or fought with may hold you liable for any major injuries and damages accruing from the fight. You would be required to pay for their medical expenses, lost wages, and any other loss if they succeed.
You should never assume the situation will blow over if you were arrested and charged with participating in a bar fight. Innocent bystanders can also be mistaken for aggressors and charged with criminal offenses after a chaotic barroom brawl. Make sure you refrain from answering any questions.
Talk to a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney Today
You should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney if you are facing an assault charge. Having a misdemeanor or an assault conviction can result in jail time, and large fines, and even make it difficult for you to secure housing or get a job in the long run. Speak with the capable attorneys at Alsobrook Law Group by calling at 334-737-3718 or use this online contact form to receive the right legal advice.