Bar Fights Defense Attorney in Scottsdale
Visiting bars is often seen as a way to relax, socialize, and de-stress, but under the influence of alcohol or drugs, individuals' judgment and impulse control may become compromised. In crowded and noisy environments like bars, what could usually be brushed off or resolved calmly can turn into a verbal dispute or a physical altercation. Bar fights carry both physical risks and legal consequences, with potential assault charges ranging from misdemeanors to felonies in Scottsdale, Arizona. Such a conviction can result in a criminal record, impacting future employment and other areas of your life.
If you have been charged with crimes involved with a bar fight in Scottsdale, Arizona, you should contact an attorney for legal guidance. When you hire our law firm, you'll work with an experienced attorney determined to defend your rights. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation to learn how to best proceed with your case.
Possible Charges and Penalties in Arizona Bar Fights
Bar fights in Arizona can potentially lead to severe legal ramifications for those involved. Regardless of the reason for the fight, individuals can face charges of assault or causing physical harm. The legal consequences vary depending on the specific circumstances of the altercation and may include the following charges:
- Disorderly Conduct (A.R.S. 13-2904): This includes actions such as engaging in fighting, violence, or seriously disruptive behavior. It also includes using abusive or offensive language or gestures in a way likely to provoke immediate physical retaliation from another person. Additionally, recklessly handling or discharging a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument intending to disturb another person's peace or quiet falls under this category.
- Disorderly conduct is typically considered a misdemeanor, but the penalties can be more severe if a deadly weapon is involved.
- Assault (A.R.S. 13-1203): This involves intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing physical injury to another person or making someone reasonably apprehensive of imminent physical harm. It can also include touching another person with the intention to injure, insult, or provoke them.
- Assault charges can be classified as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the severity of the harm caused.
- Aggravated Assault (A.R.S. 13-1204): This charge is used when the crime of assault leads to serious physical injury to the victim or involves the use of a deadly weapon or device. It can also apply when the assault causes temporary but substantial disfigurement or impairment, if the victim is physically restrained, or if the victim is under the age of 15.
- Aggravated assault is typically considered a felony, with potentially severe penalties, including long-term imprisonment.
What may seem like a simple bar brawl in Arizona could result in the police getting involved and individuals being arrested for one or more crimes. If the actions taken during the fight lead to serious physical injuries that result in the death of a victim, more significant criminal charges like manslaughter could be pursued.
Can Self-Defense Be Claimed in a Bar Fight?
Yes, legal defenses like self-defense or defending others can help prevent a conviction. These defenses need the force used to be both reasonable and proportional to the threat. Suppose you punch someone just because they insulted you; this would not be considered self-defense. But if you're reacting to a physical attack, it could be.
Self-defense may also be considered if you try to defend someone only with force that matches the threat. For example, using a weapon on someone because they made a threatening gesture wouldn't be seen as matching the threat level. You can only use deadly force if necessary to counter a similar threat.
In court, a prosecutor must prove every part of an assault charge without any doubt. Sometimes, you can negotiate serious assault charges down to less serious ones, like disorderly conduct. This includes behaviors like fighting, using offensive language, or recklessly showing a weapon. Even though disorderly conduct is a serious misdemeanor, it's not as severe as a felony assault.