Bar fights are common. Mix alcohol with an inadvertent bump or a disparaging insult, and tempers flare. Usually fueled with overblown testosterone, that’s a powder keg ready to ignite. And bar fights can be violent, whether intentionally or inadvertently.
If you were involved in a Florida bar fight, you could face the following charges:
Disorderly conduct is a second-degree misdemeanor, which involves disturbing the peace, brawling or fighting. If the fight escalates into a melee, you could be charged with a more serious crime.
Disorderly intoxication is also a second-degree misdemeanor. Here, the accused is intoxicated and endangering others, or drinking in public and causing a disturbance.
Assault and Battery
Assault is the act of causing a minor injury or the perceived threat of physical violence, where the victim believes they are imminently threatened with physical harm. Battery is classified as acting on a threat of violence.
This is even more serious, for example when combatants use a weapon (such as a knife, bottle or club) when fighting. Their intent is to cause serious bodily harm, and the criminal penalties are more substantial.
Even if you didn’t intend to cause great bodily harm to someone else, if they suffered a severe or permanent injury or disability, you could be charged with felony battery.
These are often tragic consequences of a bar fight. A fighter did not intend to kill; it happened accidentally. News stories regularly report these cases, where a punch is thrown, and someone slips and hits their head, and then lapses into a coma. Here, the prosecution must prove the fighter was reckless or criminally negligent, or the death occurred during the commission of a lower level felony.
The most serious consequence of a bar fight, this is homicide: intentionally committed while provoked, angry or in the heat of passion.
“Stand Your Ground” Defense
In Florida, you can defend yourself with force (and in certain situations, with deadly force). This is known as the stand your ground law, which applies in criminal cases. You do not have to retreat if you are afraid that someone else will hurt you unlawfully. This particular defense does not apply to civil suits, for which you can be held liable for money damages. This is a complex legal area, and it’s best to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to determine if you can use the stand your ground defense.
Call a St. Petersburg, Florida, Criminal Attorney Today for Help
If you or someone you know faces criminal charges, don’t delay. The criminal court system is overwhelming and confusing for most. Trust the experienced, caring professionals at Khonsari Law Group. Call us right away at (727) 269-5300, or contact us confidentially online. Our experienced team will make you our priority and help to put your mind at ease. We are seasoned criminal defense attorneys and will answer your questions, evaluate your circumstances, and discuss your options.