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Can You Get Arrested for Fighting in Public in Nashville?


Can You Get Arrested for Fighting in Public in Nashville?

On behalf of Patrick T. McNally, Attorney at Law | 
February 4, 2024

Nashville has specific laws in place for addressing public safety disturbances. Some might suggest that fighting in public might not be considered a serious crime, but it’s possible for offenders to face serious penalties.

The consequences of breaking these laws can have lifelong effects. Jobs, relationships, and self-esteem are just a few examples of how one incident can alter your life. If you or someone you know has recently been charged with disorderly conduct, steps toward protecting yourself and your future may be needed, beginning with hiring a Nashville criminal defense attorney.

can you get arrested for fighting in public in Nashville?

Can You Get Arrested for Fighting in Public in Nashville?

It is possible to be arrested for a public fight in Nashville. Engaging in a fight in public can be a public safety concern, as it creates a hazardous and alarming environment for the people in that area. Nashville has laws in place to protect its citizens, but they can sometimes result in life-changing consequences for those accused.

Fighting in public may cause you to be subject to a disorderly conduct charge in Nashville. You may be breaking the law if you are involved in:

  • Causing annoyance or alarming the public.
  • Participate in threats or acts of violence.
  • If, for no permitted reason, a hazardous or physically offensive condition is created.
  • If an official orders citizens to disperse in a dangerous situation, yet they are not obeyed.
  • Creating unreasonable noise that is disruptive to the public.

A disorderly conduct violation can force you to face the penalties of a Class C Misdemeanor, resulting in a fine of $50 and jail time of no longer than 30 days.

Assault Charges

If a fight becomes extreme and violent, the consequences of fighting in public could increase in severity. When you purposely cause someone physical harm, you could be charged with assault and a Class A misdemeanor. You could face fines of up to $15,000, as well as jail time. If the assault involved domestic abuse, additional fines may be imposed on you.

Purposefully provocative or offensive contact and causing another person to fear physical harm could also result in assault charges, and they will be charged as Class B and Class A misdemeanors, respectively.

Seek Help From a Law Firm

The criminal justice system can be complex and overwhelming. Hiring a criminal lawyer can offer you understanding during this challenging time in your life. You can obtain the help needed to navigate the justice system, and your confusion can be exchanged for confidence. A criminal defense attorney knows the risks presented by the potential for conviction and can offer you options that better your life-long future.

If you are facing a charge in Nashville for fighting in public, seek help quickly. The sooner you and your lawyer can begin building a strong defense, the better. When you contact an attorney, speak with them about your case during an initial consultation. During the consultation, you can discuss the details of the incident and your criminal record. A qualified criminal defense attorney should provide you with options as well as valuable resources.

Next, an attorney can help build your defense plan. They will attempt to challenge the prosecution in the strongest way possible.

With guidance and support throughout, even in extreme cases, you can have more control over your future. Whether you are wrongly accused or believe you are guilty, you can work with an attorney who can do everything they can to clear your name. Depending on your circumstances, an acquittal may be a realistic goal. If it’s favorable to your case, your legal team may work on bargaining a plea for minimal sentencing or charges.


Q: What Happens if You Get Into a Fight in Public?

A: Besides the injuries inflicted and received, there may be police involvement. Once officials are involved, there is a question as to whether or not orders were followed in a respectful manner. You may be charged with disorderly conduct because of the disruption to peace, an assault, or not following an order.

Having a fight in your community may also require medical help or traveling to a medical facility. Relationships also can be greatly affected, as a public fight may cause shame and embarrassment.

Q: Is Fighting Legal in Tennessee?

A: According to Tennessee’s legal code, disorderly conduct is illegal. Fighting can cause a disturbance that is loud, annoys community members, and injures and endangers the comfort and safety of the public. Those who engage in public fights are subject to penalties such as fines and jail.

Q: Is Punching Someone a Felony in Tennessee?

A: If the altercation is limited to punching without serious injury, no felony would be warranted. However, fighting in public can encompass many different circumstances. When a fight turns physical, it can then be classified as a simple assault. Simple assault in the state of Tennessee could mean a Class A misdemeanor, which is subject to one year of prison time and fines up to $2,500.

If the punching causes serious bodily harm or if any weapons are involved, this would be considered an aggravated assault, and a felony may now be issued.

Q: Can You Go to Jail for Self-Defense in Tennessee?

A: The state has a “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law in place. You do not have to avoid the perpetrator before choosing to defend yourself. If you can prove that the circumstance evoked fear of serious harm or death, the actions may be justified. However, if there is a complete loss of life or a lack of substantial evidence, a crime could be charged. Occasionally, depending on certain variables, this could result in jail time.

Contact McNally Law

A fight in a public place could happen to anyone. It is a moment in time that can regrettably threaten your freedom and future opportunities. You have rights and options, so contact us today to begin your first and most important step. Working with the accomplished team at McNally Law can ensure your future life goals are a top priority.

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