How To Defend Against Charges After A Bar Fight In Florida
The Orlando area bar scene can be busy and fun-filled as thousands of bar patrons flood Central Florida’s dining and drinking establishments on a nightly basis. Sometimes it’s not all fun and games, though. A night out with friends or a stop to watch a big football game can turn messy when someone has too much to drink and tempers flare.
Orlando has dealt with serious, tragic, and even horrifying incidents in its late-night scene over the past several years. Local leaders have grappled with ways to reduce physical violence at late-night establishments as bar violence remains an ongoing issue. Arguments escalate quickly when they happen in a bar environment and intoxication rules over logic. In a matter of minutes, heated talk can turn violent and a person might find themselves talking to police and spending a night in jail.
In the hazy aftermath of a bar fight, people can find themselves facing an arraignment in court and criminal charges that would have seemed impossible a couple days earlier. At this point, a bar patron-turned-criminal defendant finds themselves fighting for their legal rights and requiring help from an experienced Orlando-area criminal defense attorney.
Types of Crimes a Person Can Be Charged With After a Bar Fight
Most of the criminal charges a person can face after a nightclub altercation are assaultive in nature. Others involve public safety offenses or violations of state or local ordinances.
The more common charges include:
- Disorderly Conduct. Florida defines disorderly conduct as a “breach of the peace” under Florida Statutes Sec. 877.03. Actions that corrupt public morals, “outrage the sense of public decency”, affect the peace and quiet of those around them, or include “brawling or fighting” can be charged with disorderly conduct – a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida.
- Disorderly Intoxication. Disorderly intoxication under Florida law means that a person becomes so intoxicated that they become a safety threat to those around them. In many of these situations, a bar owner or helpful friend can de-escalate the situation and get the intoxicated person safely home. If police become involved, this could turn into a second-degree misdemeanor.
- Assault. Assault under Florida law means an intentional threat by word or action to cause harm to another person – threatening enough that the other person fears they are in imminent danger. Taunting, raising fists, or threatening to hurt another person – even if no contact actually occurs – can lead to an assault charge.
- Aggravated Battery. A person who intentionally hurts another person and causes great bodily harm can be charged with aggravated battery under Florida law. The same goes if a person uses a deadly weapon during the course of a fight. Many bar fights can potentially fall under this category if one person in the fight is hurt badly enough.
- Manslaughter (Involuntary or Voluntary). It is possible sometimes that a bar fight can escalate to the point where somebody tragically loses their life. Even if the death was unintentional, the alleged assailant can be charged with manslaughter in Florida. Voluntary manslaughter refers to when a person intentionally kills another during a provocation. Involuntary manslaughter occurs when a death occurs without any intent at all – for example, if a person is knocked down and fractures their skull on the pavement. Death can follow, even if the offender had no intention to cause serious harm.
If you or someone you know has been charged with any of these crimes – or others – after a bar fight, it is critical to obtain a skilled criminal defense attorney that knows what to do next.
The Orlando Criminal Defense Attorneys at Joshi Law Firm, PA Can Help If You Face Charges After a Bar Fight
There are times when a fun night out with friends can turn into something much worse. Sometimes an argument can escalate in the heat of the moment and lead to events that turn into criminal charges. If you find yourself facing any type of criminal charge related to a bar altercation, the Orlando criminal defense attorneys at Joshi Law Firm can help. We will carefully examine the evidence and fight for your legal rights. To learn more, call our legal team today at 407-661-1109, or complete our online case questionnaire today.