Nashville, Tennessee, is known for its lively country music scene, historic venues, and vibrant nightlife. Nashville has a little something for everyone, with countless bars, restaurants, and entertainment options. But what happens if your fun spills out into the streets or ends with a violent confrontation, putting you face-to-face with police officers?
We’re not saying you need to walk around with a pocket-sized constitution, but it is a good rule of thumb, as with any city, to know the laws and your rights in case your night turns sour.
Sometimes, complying with all of the lawful commands from law enforcement and being as forthright as humanly possible doesn’t always keep you safe from consequences – but here’s how you can navigate encounters with law enforcement and protect your rights to the best of your ability.
Open Container Laws in Nashville
Nashville does have some open container laws you should be aware of before you head out. While it is illegal to carry alcohol in any metal, aluminum, or glass container that isn’t commercially sealed, this doesn’t mean you can’t carry alcohol at all. So long as you’re carrying your alcoholic beverage in a paper or plastic cup and you are not belligerent or dangerous, you should be free to carry on.
This means that you can’t walk around the city streets, parks, or any other public areas with an open beer, wine, or liquor bottle, even if you’re not actively consuming it.
Open container laws have been passed and enforced as a public safety measure, to help curb incidences of public intoxication and prevent accidents and injuries. If you do get caught with an open container, you could face certain repercussions, such as Class C misdemeanor charges, up to 30 days in jail, paying a fine, court fees, and probation.
These laws are subject to change at any time, so make sure to research existing open container laws before you go out, to avoid any possible consequences.
Public intoxication is the act of being in public while under the influence of a chemical substance. While we all know what happens when we drink alcohol, if you are visibly intoxicated or drunk in public, you could be charged with public intoxication, resulting in steep penalties such as a Class C misdemeanor conviction, fines of up to $50, and possibly up to 30 days in jail.
This typically correlates with becoming a danger to yourself or others, causing a disturbance, or being belligerent.
Assault Charges for Bar Fights
Alcohol tends to lower inhibitions and make conflict resolution almost impossible. Unfortunately, alcohol and physical confrontations go hand in hand, especially in bars. Depending on the circumstances, and law enforcement’s assessment of the situation, you could be facing a number of different charges, including assault, battery, and disturbing the peace.
Most of these assault charges carry a heavier weight in the eyes of the judicial system and can even lead to felony convictions. Assault is the attempt to cause bodily injury to another person. Battery is the actual cause of bodily injury. Disturbing the peace is any behavior that disturbs the peace and tranquility of the public. These assault charges can carry serious penalties, including fines, probation, and longer jail sentences. Be mindful that you don’t have to be the one who starts a fight or confrontation to be charged with assault or battery.
Hiring an Assault Defense Attorney in Nashville
If you’re facing criminal charges after a night out in Nashville, it’s important to hire an experienced defense attorney who can help you navigate the cumbersome legal system and protect your rights. An assault defense attorney will help you understand the charges being levied against you, the potential penalties, as well as develop a defense strategy that will protect your best interests.
They can also negotiate with prosecutors or work to have your case dismissed altogether if there are legal issues with the evidence or the prosecution’s case. An assault defense attorney’s job is to represent you, advocate on your behalf, and secure the best possible outcome for your case.
Should you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, facing severe consequences, it’s wise to contact a seasoned professional defense attorney with a proven track record to help you navigate the best way forward.
To get the guidance you need and learn more about your options, visit The Cassell Firm – experienced Nashville Lawyers dedicated to defending your rights!