Americans over the age of 21 have a legal right to consume alcohol. For many, bar hopping is a cherished activity.
Unfortunately, the combination of intoxicants, crowds and late nights can turn explosive. When happy times curdle into violence, there are often criminal charges.
Charges of disorderly intoxication
Police may slap someone with this when inebriation causes threatening behavior. Verbal conflicts are often a prelude to fists flying. Bar staff and police typically ask someone who appears dangerous to leave. Refusal to abandon the premises could end in handcuffs.
Charges of disorderly conduct
Throwing punches qualifies as disorderly conduct. At the least, this violation is a second-degree misdemeanor. A judge is likely to give someone a fine or time behind bars.
Charges of aggravated battery
A fight participant with intent to cause serious physical harm gets aggravated battery. Whether this is the case remains open to interpretation. If a weapon plays a role, it becomes difficult to argue otherwise.
Charges of manslaughter
Should someone die during a brawl, the consequences are most serious. The individual responsible for a fatality may get either voluntary or involuntary manslaughter. The former means there was intent to murder. The latter suggests that death is the result of unrestrained anger. For instance, a deliberate provocation might trigger the defendant to lash out. Under both scenarios, a conviction likely means prison time.
Physical altercations in public often lead to a variety of legal difficulties. Understanding which ones are relevant will help with building an effective defense.