Involved in a Bar Fight? What You Need to Know!
Posted May 17th, 2016 by Anthony Carbone, PC.
Categories: Criminal Defense.
Bar fights are seldom pretty. Invariably, somebody can wind up with slash marks from a broken bottle. In some occasions, faces are marred by fractured noses or blackened eyes. Others break hands or are even knocked out.
Unfortunately, alcohol plays a big factor in loose lips. Yes, it’s often escalated conversations that lead to physical violence.
Take the case of Mark Antonio. He was at the local gin mill. Visited there with a few of his fellow construction workers after the end of a tedious day. They were all part of a union shop. At the far end of the bar, sat some guys who were on the same job site.
The other workers weren’t unionized. They were getting paid a small salary. After downing a few shots, Mark let one of the guys know how he felt. How dare they interfere with his earnings? What would stop his employer from substituting him with one of these non-union laborers? Didn’t Mark deserve a living wage?
An old argument. One Mark might have approached more peacefully if the alcohol didn’t give him the catalyst for liquid courage. Mark easily swung and took the first punch at one of the non-union workers. His frustration level was pretty high.
The Consequences of a Bar Fight
Mark didn’t walk into the bar with intentions of causing a fight. In fact, Mark is a fairly nice man. He’s never been in trouble. For certain, he’s never been arrested.
Until that day. Mark was marched out of the bar in handcuffs. He now had a problem.
So, what exactly are Mark’s issues? Is he in big trouble? Possibly.
First off, there are different degrees of assault. We didn’t really go over the extent of the victim’s injuries. Hopefully, they were minor. If they were, they would fall into the category of simple assault, which is described in the law at NJSA 2C:12-1.
We’ve previously written about simple assault charges. Just because simple assault charges are heard in municipal court doesn’t make them serious. The fact that Mark went after someone else with the intent to hurt them is a big deal. If the injuries do turn out to be significant, there are bigger issues.
In fact, the consequences can result in major difficulties. The matter can be moved to Superior Court for consideration of aggravated assaulted charges. And, that’s when the real trouble starts.
A nightmare. One likely provoked by too many swigs of a bottle. Bar fights just aren’t pretty.
When Bar Fight Charges Are Elevated
We mentioned that bar fight charges could be elevated to the Superior Court. Of course, worst case scenario is that a bar fight could result in death. Then, the defendant could face a manslaughter or murder trial.
However, aggravated assault alone is a felony charge that comes with severe penalties. The law regarding aggravated assault is spelled out in NJSA 2C:11-1. The major difference between the two types of assaults is that aggravated assault demonstrates a “Serious bodily injury… which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”
At the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, we understand that you may have your regrets about your involvement in a bar fight. We have decades of experience helped clients in similar situations. Contact our office to discuss your situation and learn how we can assist you.