Alcohol can lead to some interesting consequences, but a bar fight in Florida does not have to ruin your life. There are things you can do if the other person presses assault charges. Remaining silent and calling a criminal defense attorney are the first things you should do.

According to the 2019 Florida Statutes Title XLVI Chapter 775, there are mandatory minimum fines and sentences for those convicted of assault. Most assault charges end with a misdemeanor charge but can end with a felony assault charge. The average bar fight may not qualify for anything more than a second-degree misdemeanor punishable with a $500 fine.

If you were in a more severe fight, you could end up with a felony conviction could cost as much as $15,000 plus a life sentence in prison. On top of these fines, defendants can expect to pay court costs outside of any criminal defense attorney. The statute is meant to “provide uniform penalty authorization for criminal offenses.”

The general reference may not work in all cases but is a point at which the court starts even for your case. Not to mention that some fines may exceed these amounts if the victim lost something. Of course, the court must find you guilty of assault before any of these penalties take effect.

A criminal defense attorney can mean the difference in your conviction, time served and fines imposed. While this information should not be taken as legal advice, it can help you understand the process and what to expect.