Bars are places where intoxication and emotions can run high. This can be a violent combination that has led to many altercations in these establishments. Some of these fights might end with a couple of bruises and black eyes, while others can have potentially fatal injuries.
If you were involved in a bar fight, you could be facing serious criminal charges that can impact your finances and career. It is crucial to know what you could receive from an altercation before you prepare your defense.
Charges for disorderly conduct
A criminal offense that many bar brawlers face convictions from is breaching the peace of the vicinity. The court considers fighting or provoking someone into violence with insults or challenges as disorderly conduct, regardless if alcohol is involved or not.
Bar fights deemed as disorderly conduct often come with misdemeanor charges resulting in jail time or fines. Minor misdemeanors have fines that go up to $150 with no jail time while first degree misdemeanors can have fines up to $1,000 and up to 180 days in jail.
Charges for assault and battery
While Ohio considers assault and battery to be two different offenses, they have similar punishments. If the fight only gave your opponent minor injuries, then you might face simple assault charges. Like disorderly conduct, most simple assault charges tend to be first degree misdemeanors that are punishable with fines up to $1,000 and up to 6 months in jail.
If the injuries were more serious or you were caught using a deadly weapon such as a knife or gun, then you might be convicted for felony or aggravated assault. Aggravated assaults are rage-induced attacks that are punishable with fines up to $5,000 and a prison sentence between 18 months to 6 years. Second degree felony assaults result in fines up to $20,000 and 2-8 years in prison.
Compensation for personal injury
The person you fought with or anyone harmed in the process can also try to find you liable for any major injuries they have from the fight. If they succeed, then you will have to pay them for any medical expenses or income loss they incurred.
Any of these criminal offenses can be damaging to your career if you do not protect yourself. Receiving jail time or a criminal record from the process could cost you your job and make it difficult to find a new one. You must prepare your defense carefully to protect yourself from any potential convictions that could negatively impact your life.