What are my rights if I was recently charged with assault and disorderly conduct?

I was at a bar having a good time and was over served. The bouncer grabbed me and started tugging me downstairs. I weigh about 130 and I am 5’6 the bouncer was 6’3 220 pounds. I didn’t know what was going on once I was attacked and I threw a punch that didn’t make any contact. He grabbed me and threw me down and slammed my head on the floor. I am the only one that was injured and I have 2 very large scars on my head. I am planning on taking a diversion class early just in case. Howwever, my feeling is that they over served me, attacked me and I swung to protect myself. He was much bigger and stronger and used excessive force. What will play out?

Asked on February 26, 2013 under Criminal Law, Arizona


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

It will really depend on the jury that eventually hears the case.  You have a decent chance of defeating the charges on the theory or facts of self-defense, mutual combat, provoking the difficulty, or excessive force.  The fact that you suffered all of the injuries and were a much smaller build than the bouncer will count in your favor.  The fact that you were intoxicated won't help because it could be used to explain why your version of events were different that the bouncer's.  If you have a witness to the events, that would help significantly.  A criminal defense attorney who is a skilled trial lawyer could do well with these facts with the right jury.  However, at the end of the day, there is still a risk of a guilty verdict, even with the best of attorneys.  If you can get the charges dropped by completing a diversion program, that would be the safest and cheapest route to go. 

As a side note, you may want to visit with personal injury attorney as well.  Based on the facts that you describe, there is a potential that the business is liable for your injuries (first by over-serving and second by excessive force). 

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