Can you get arrested for a bar fight?

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2020 | Violent Crimes

Many television fans are familiar with the arrest of Keifer Sutherland for fighting in a bar. Sutherland plays a character on the Fox TV show “24” who is known for his roughhouse tactics while working to subdue terrorists across the globe. The television star reportedly exhibited his aggression off-screen when engaging in a confrontation with a fashion designer at an upscale nightclub.

Can you defend yourself in a bar fight?

Legal professionals explain that many people seem oblivious to the fact that fighting in a bar is seen as a violent crime and is against the law. Perhaps this is also a result of television since the police never seem to arrive when bar brawls break out in movies or on TV.

People who frequent bars should know they are not entering a location where anything goes. The same laws that govern the rest of society apply to people in bars. This fact may lead individuals to question if they are allowed to defend themselves should a patron who has enjoyed a few too many beers attacks them. The short answer is yes. However, there is a point where a person defending themselves can then become the aggressor if they do not know when to stop.

What constitutes self-defense?

Bar fights are complicated when it comes to self-defense because this legal protection is not applicable in situations where mutual combat applies. There is also the issue of whether the people involved in the fight tell the same story when the police arrive. Most people conclude that it is much better to stay out of situations where bar fights can occur.

An accusation of assault or another violent crime can result in damaging consequences for the person accused of wrongdoing. Individuals facing assault accusations may be better able to protect their rights in court after consulting with a criminal defense attorney.