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How can you defend against assault charges after a bar fight?

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2021 | Violent Crimes

Alcohol is a known disinhibitor, meaning it makes it easier for people to go from thinking about something impulsive to actually doing it. Your better judgment may not be as strong as normal when you’ve had a couple of drinks.

There’s a reason that alcohol is often involved in physical altercations. People under the influence may be more emotional and may misinterpret one another during an argument. If you get into a fight at a bar, the police may be forced to get involved. Even if no one breaks up the fight, you could still eventually get arrested if a police report is filed later on.

How can someone facing assault charges after a drunken bar fight defend themselves?

Can you show that you weren’t present?

One of the most straightforward ways to defend against criminal accusations is to prove that you weren’t there when the crime occurred. The police may have mistaken you for someone else, so any corroborating evidence that shows you weren’t present at the scene at the time of the fight could be the simplest way to defend yourself.

Can you prove that the other party attacked you first?

Sometimes, the best defense is simply an explanation of the facts. If you were present and did take part in a fight, you may be able to show that you only got physical to defend yourself or someone else who was being victimized.

Self-defense is an affirmative defense. When pleading self-defense, you agree that you did what the prosecution claims, but you assert that state law allowed you to do so because you were acting to protect yourself or someone else. You can claim self-defense if the other person posed an imminent threat to you or someone else, or if they initiated the physical aggression in some cases.

What defenses won’t work?

If you got into a fight with someone outside of a bar, showing that you received bad injuries from the fight won’t automatically result in you being declared innocent of the assault accusations. Trying to establish that you received worse injuries than the other party usually isn’t a very good defense strategy.

Blaming your alleged actions on alcohol really doesn’t work either. However, there are some exceptions for situations where defenders were involuntarily intoxicated. In all other cases, pointing to drug or alcohol inebriation is usually not permissible as a defense in court.

There could be unique circumstances in your situation that give rise to a completely different defense strategy. Having an attorney review the evidence against you can provide valuable legal guidance when defending yourself from a pending assault charge.