Outcomes of assault charges, explained by a Columbus Ohio criminal attorney
Fight or flight: The consequences of getting into a brawl
You’re visiting your local watering hole, watching your favorite sports team dominate the competition. As you cheer and raise your glass in victory, you notice someone in the rival team’s jersey sitting across the bar, giving you the stink eye. You flash a cheeky smile as if to say, “Better luck next time.”
The rival fan takes exception to your gesture and comes over to have a few words. The combination of alcohol and sports energy causes things to heat up, and before you know it, you’re exchanging blows and being pulled apart by friends.
While some fights are brief scuffles, others can end up as vicious beatings, in which one or both participants end up with serious injuries. In any case, it’s always best to avoid physical altercations, as fighting will only result in a few bruises at best, and a felony assault charge, or even manslaughter at worst.
What causes people to fight?
Depending on the circumstances, it can be easy to get sucked into a situation where it feels like fighting is the only solution to a conflict. Emotions run high, and neither party wants to back down.
So what are the most common reasons fights break out?
- Sports – In the above example, the fight starts due to a sports rivalry. This is a very common cause of fights and assault cases. People tend to attach their egos to their favorite sports team, and when tensions are high, will take an insult to the team as a personal affront. The problem is so widespread that there are even websites dedicated to ending fan-on-fan violence.
- Words – Whether it’s insults, disagreements, bad jokes, or outright challenges, many physical fights begin as verbal arguments. When one party begins to lose ground or runs out of insults, they may choose to “take it to the next level” and replace their words with actions.
- Pride – When conflict arises, ego is a powerful element. If a person feels that they are being belittled, disrespected, or talked down to, sometimes they will resort to a violent reaction in order to avoid appearing weak.
What are the consequences of getting into a physical fight?
It should come as no surprise that unsanctioned fighting is against the law, and can have potentially serious legal repercussions, such as:
- Simple Assault – The use of physical force against another person resulting in harmful contact is classified as assault. If nobody is seriously injured during the altercation, you’ll most likely be charged with simple assault.
- Aggravated assault – If you attack someone with a weapon or appear to have another intent while attacking them (such as robbing them), you may be charged with aggravated assault.
- Voluntary manslaughter – Sometimes, if a fight escalates to a dangerous level, one party may end up dying from their injuries. Voluntary manslaughter occurs when a party is provoked and ends up killing the other party in a heat of passion.
Call a Columbus Ohio criminal attorney if you’re arrested after a fight
If you are in a situation where you’re being faced with a physical confrontation, it’s always best to swallow your pride and back down. Unless you’re defending yourself from an attack, it’s advisable to turn the other cheek.
However, if you’ve been arrested for involvement in a physical altercation, call the professional, experienced criminal attorneys at Yavitch & Palmer. We’ll comb through your case to determine if your actions were in self defense or otherwise justified, and work to provide the best outcome.