You’re at a bar and the big game is on. If you’re a passionate fan and doing some drinking, the chances of you or someone around you getting a little too rowdy grows with each inning, quarter, or period. Bar fights tend to happen unexpectedly as tensions rise between friends and often strangers.
Bar fights are easy to avoid, but with their violent nature, they can quickly be more trouble than they are worth. Here are four criminal charges you may face if you’re involved in a bar fight.
Disorderly Intoxication – Disorderly intoxication occurs when someone under the influence of alcohol becomes a threat or danger to those around them. While engaging in this kind of behavior, the bar’s management or law enforcement have the right to ask you to leave before the situation gets worse. If there is an incident where someone is hurt, it can result in a second-degree misdemeanor charge.
Disorderly Conduct – According to Florida Statues, this is known as a “breach of the peace.” This law is made to help create a sense of public decency. If you are in a bar fight in public view, you can be charged with disorderly conduct, as you’re disturbing the peace. This kind of charge begins at a second-degree misdemeanor and could lead to large fines or jail time.
Aggravated Battery – An aggravated battery charge means that there was intent to cause serious bodily harm to another person while engaging in the bar fight. This charge is amplified by the use of a deadly weapon, whether it is a pocketknife or a bottle that’s been picked up from the table. This can lead to a second-degree felony charge, according to Florida Statutes.
Manslaughter – The loss of ones life during a bar fight is tragic and completely avoidable, but it has happened before. This crime can either be categorized as voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter means intentionally committing a murder while in the middle of a provocation. Involuntary manslaughter happens in the heat of the moment and is passion-fueled or emotional leading to immediate intent to commit an act that leads to ending a person’s life. Involuntary manslaughter means someone is accidentally killed during a struggle or in this case in the middle of a bar fight. An example of this would be if during the fight a person trips or is pushed and hits their head on the bar causing an injury that leads to their death. Both forms of manslaughter are likely to result in prison time.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a bar fight that’s resulted in one or more of these charges, it’s imperative that you seek the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney like Russell Spatz. Give him a call today at (305) 442-0200 to see how he can assist in your case.