Northern Colorado Criminal Defense Firm
Available After Hours & Weekends

Bar Fights & Charges You Might Face

Bar fights

It’s a Friday night and you are kicking back in your favorite bar with a local craft beer. What could be much better than a night like that? Bars often feel like safe zones for many people. A place you can go to hang out with friends, relax, and let go of the day’s worries. However, just because bars are often rowdy late at night, and bartenders seem willing to put up with a lot of shenanigans, they are not anything-goes-zones when it comes to the law. Just because you are with a group of equally drunk people does not mean you are not liable for your actions while there. Alcohol has a funny way of bringing out our emotions in an intense way. Have you ever heard someone say, “she’s a happy drunk” or “he gets really sad when he drinks”? These statements reflect the way alcohol can bring out the deepest emotions we feel in extremely strong ways.

Sadly for some people, anger may be the emotion excess alcohol brings out. This can lead to bar fights, and bar fights can lead to charges. If you need a criminal lawyer in Fort Collins to handle your charges due to a bar fight, contact our team for help. We are well versed in handling this tricky situation and we will endeavor to provide you with the resources you need to fight for your rights.


Perhaps it was a really bad day at work. Maybe your girlfriend just left you. No matter what got you into the fighting mood, a bar fight can escalate quickly. Whether or not you started the fight, if you participated in it, you might find yourself facing charges after a bar fight. What charges do bar fights result in for the participants? The charges will depend on the situation, the extent of the physical violence, and at what point the cops are arresting you.

The most common charge you will face for a bar fight is assault. The severity of the charge will depend on the particular situation and the extent of bodily injury caused. Bodily injury is a somewhat vague term, which is why teaming with a professional, experienced criminal lawyer in Fort Collins is the best course of action.

What if someone attacks you first? What if you did not instigate the bar fight, but you simply participated in it? Can you still be charged with assault? The answer is yes. Even if someone else swung first, you can wind up facing assault charges. The best course of action is to stay out of any fight if you can help it. While self-defense is allowed, it usually has to be an action that is considered to be appropriate to the initial blow. For example, you cannot get away with calling the fight self-defense if someone shoves you and you retaliate by throwing a beer bottle at their head.

Another charge you could possibly face after a night of too much drinking is a Public Intoxication charge. Although this charge would not apply to you when you are in a private establishment, if you leave the bar and you are still upset, drunk, and belligerent, the cops could arrest you for Public Intoxication.


So what happens if you do get charged with assault due to a bar fight? The first thing to do is try to remain calm. Obviously if you are in the state of mind in which you got into a bar fight, this could be easier said than done. However, if you were just protecting yourself, or a friend you were with, remain calm and cooperate with law enforcement. Sometimes you may actually face arrest the day after the bar fight. This can be an unsettling experience when a cop shows up at your door, but it is within the realm of reality. If you are confronted after the incident by the cops, try to use your clear head to refrain from saying anything else that will incriminate you.

Although you should cooperate with the cops and listen to what they say, do not feel the need to explain everything that happened right then and there. In fact, it is highly advised that you remain silent and refuse to give any statements until you contact our team. As you likely know from hearing it parroted on television, as an American, you always have the right to remain silent and anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law. We know the best way to go about delivering a statement, and we understand what is the best course of action for creating a defense for you. Because assault deals with some vague components like bodily injury, we can work on finding the right solution for your particular scenario. The worst thing you can do is act belligerent, fight with the cops, and spout off your defense in the heat of the moment. Odds are that you are not going to do as good a job defending yourself as our experienced team can.


As a local Fort Collins criminal lawyer, we have experience working with the local system. We understand that a night out in Old Town can get out of hand quickly, and sometimes alcohol will get the best of all of us. We also understand that sometimes you are truly trying to defend yourself against another intoxicated person, and the charges being placed against you may feel extremely unjust. Whatever the situation, we are not here to be your judge. We are here to be your advocate. Perhaps it was your loved one, a boyfriend, girlfriend, child, or good friend who got into a bar fight and they are now facing criminal charges. Please contact our team for a consultation. This is the best step you can take to help them. We can help you understand what options are available and get to work building your defense. Call today to learn more.