Locals and visitors alike enjoy the bustling nightlife in Sarasota. However, a crowded and alcohol-fueled atmosphere can spark disagreements that quickly turn into a fierce melee.
If a patron finds themself amid an altercation, the consequences can result in more than a black eye or hurt pride. Individuals should be aware of the legal issues surrounding a fight at a bar or nightclub.
A patron who fights another can face various charges. Assault involves a believable, intentional and unlawful threat to commit a violent act against another person. This means a person can receive an assault charge without even fighting.
Battery often joins assault charges. The offense involves any physical contact against another person’s will. In rare cases where a person attacks without warning, no assault charges arise.
A charge of disorderly conduct may arise if the altercation occurs outside in public. A brawl raises to the level of a riot when it involves at least three people, happens in public, has the intention of collaborating in violent and disorderly conduct and causes an imminent danger of property damage or bodily injuries.
A common defense against charges of disorderly conduct or assault is self-defense. Every person has the right to defend themselves against an attack. Florida law permits the use of deadly force if a person sincerely believes such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to themself or another person.
A defendant may also need to prove there was no danger to the public. Some courts may drop a charge of disorderliness that was simply a matter of shouting at another in verbal defense.
Partygoers should seek to avoid trouble at all costs. Preferably, club and bar clientele can enjoy a night on the town without a confrontation.