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bar fight madison wi

Defending Charges for Bar Fights

Charged in a bar fight?  Madison Law Firm is ready to help

Bars can be dangerous places. Whenever people are drinking and together in a small room, a fight can happen. Unfortunately, this can get you in trouble even if you didn’t start the fight. While you should try to avoid a fight when possible, sometimes you get pulled in. When this happens, you can face criminal charges for something you didn’t start. You will need the help of a good legal team to help defend your rights.


If someone attacks you, you have a right to protect yourself. You must be able to show that you believed you were in immediate danger. Someone making fun of you or insulting you is not enough, unless that was part of some threatening posture or language. 

How to demonstrate your belief will depend on the circumstances, and may mean you need witness testimony to support you. Besides a threat, you must also show that you used only the amount of force needed to defend yourself. This is critical; if you draw a weapon in a fistfight, you may struggle to argue that you had to do so. Your right to defend yourself does not also give you the right to attack beyond what is necessary to protect yourself.

Defending Someone Else

You also have the right to defend someone else who is with you. Even if you are not personally attacked, if a friend faces a threat that you believe to place him or her in danger, you may be able to step in and help. Again, you must have a reasonable belief that someone presented a risk of harm to your friend, and you can only apply the level of force that is required to stop the threat.

Going beyond either of these limits will subject you to charges. Sorting out fault in a bar fight is challenging at best. You or others there will likely be intoxicated, and you will need help sorting out the facts. You will need to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you defend your right to protect yourself and others.