It is unlikely a bar fight starts preemptively. Taverns and pubs are often a place to relax, have a few drinks and enjoy good company. In the event of a violent encounter, though, there are a number of complications that arise.
Every punch thrown may risk an assault charge and every injury may result in a personal injury suit. It is important to remember how to navigate the complexities and consequences of an unexpected bar fight.
Possible claims of assault
As Alaska statutes define, assault in the fourth degree involves reckless injury with or without a dangerous instrument. It also includes placing another person in fear of physical injury through words. This charge is a misdemeanor but higher degrees come with higher penalties.
This is not only a charge you might face from a bar fight, but something others may see as well.
Possible claims of self-defense
Self-defense is one way to use physical force in a way that does not necessarily warrant an assault charge. If you have no possibility of safely avoiding violence and are in fear for your safety, there are Alaskan laws designed to protect your right to deter further harm through such force.
Another party in this scenario is the bar itself. Certain dram shop laws hold establishments that serve alcohol responsible for the actions of intoxicated persons. An overserved patron that gets in a DUI may incur civil liabilities on the bar that served them.
A bar fight is messy and picking it apart may be messier. There are tools and resources available to you that may help navigate that mess and defend yourself against criminal charges.