Nashville has a huge bar scene. People who frequent these bars have likely seen a fight break out at one point or another, but these can lead to serious consequences for all parties involved. In one case earlier this year, a fight occurred outside a Lower Broadway bar, resulting in one man sustaining serious injuries from a stab wound.
A brawl after having a few drinks may seem like a good idea in the moment, but it can result in significant consequences that last for years. Someone could call the police. You could face a few different charges from a single fight, which is why it is always preferable to avoid such confrontations in the first place.
Disturbing the peace
This is a misdemeanor offense. It comes with a punishment of up to 90 days in county jail and a fine up to $400. Disturbing the peace does not necessarily have to involve a physical confrontation. If you call someone derogatory names or use language to try to provoke a fight, then the police could arrest you for disturbing the peace.
When you actually use force to hurt someone, that is battery. As long as you did not seriously injure someone, then you could face a maximum sentence of six months in county jail and a fine of $2,000. Felony charges could be on the table if the fight resulted in serious physical harm to the other person.
Assault is a separate charge from battery. While people often use them interchangeably, there is a notable legal difference. Assault consists of attempting violence or causing another person to fear bodily harm. For example, showing another party you have a gun or another weapon could qualify as assault even if you did not hurt the other individual. A conviction could lead to six months in county jail and a $1,000 fine.
There are defenses to these and other charges stemming from a bar fight. If you are arrested, speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.