This morning, we represented two young men who were partying on Mill Ave in Tempe, Arizona and received charges for assault, disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing. The fact patterns for these types of cases are generally all the same. Client goes to a bar on Mill (most common are Ringo Star, CASA and El Hefe); client is doing something that gets them kicked out of the bar, whether it’s a fight, acting disorderly or gets into an argument with the bouncer; and client tries to re-enter the bar.
Here’s the issue, the bouncers at these bars aspire to be Tempe Police officers. They will do whatever they can to develop relationships with the police. This means, if they think they’re having or going to have an issue with a patron, they will immediately apprehend a person, or kick them out of the bar, and call Tempe Police. Essentially, they make a larger deal out of most things than what they really should be. They do this simply to establish a closer relationship with police so the officer can put in a good word for them when they apply to the department.
In this fact patters, our client would be charged with disorderly conduct, assault and trespassing. Disorderly conduct is a ridiculous offense. If the overzealous bouncers report behavior they believe to be disorderly, the Tempe Police officer will charge our clients with disorderly conduct. It’s a very subjective offense; meaning, the law doesn’t say you have to do x,y,z to be charged with disorderly conduct. Rather, if the officer believes your behavior was disorderly, it’s disorderly.
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As for the assault, even if the bouncers started the fight by being too aggressive, if you have been drinking, Tempe Police will still issue you the citation or arrest you for assault. You have to remember, you are at an immediate disadvantage with Tempe Police. Even if you are in the right, if you have been drinking, your credibility is in question. They will believe the bouncer over you.
Finally, trespassing charges are because once you have been asked to leave the bar or club, if you try to get back in, even if unsuccessful, you will be charged with criminal trespassing.
As you can see, these charges are complicated. It will be your word against the officer and bouncers’. Without a lawyer by your side, this is a losing battle. Our office has handled hundreds of these cases. We’ve helped many clients and can help you too. Call our office day or night for a free case strategy discussion (602) 980-1987.