Fighting Battery Charges After an Altercation in a Sports Bar

A Chicago businessman decides to meet one of his best friends at their favorite bar after work to catch the game. They are enjoying the game until another man starts trying to pick a fight with them. The businessman tells the other patron to calm down and leave him alone because he wants to watch the game in peace.

After about 30 minutes of this, the other man comes over and starts saying exceptionally provocative things, getting in the businessman’s face. Thinking that he had no other option, the businessman shoves the other man onto the floor. Now he is facing battery charges. We will discuss some of the best legal defenses you can use to fight battery charges after an altercation in a sports bar.


Self-defense is one of the most common defenses against battery charges. Claiming self-defense or the defense of another person is an affirmative defense in Illinois. Under Illinois law, a person with a reasonable belief of imminent harm from another's use of unlawful force is allowed to use force to defend themselves or another individual. The businessman in the scenario mentioned above may show that the other man was so belligerent that he believed he was in imminent fear of bodily harm and the man was about to hurt him.

Disproving the Prosecution

In Illinois, prosecutors are required to prove all of the elements of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt to convict the defendant. In many cases, battery charges are filed when the police arrive at an altercation and one person alleging that the other person was the aggressor. In brawls in sports bars in sporting events, it is difficult for police officers to determine what happened accurately. Both sides may be trying to blame the other side, and one or more people may be claiming self-defense.

In many cases, battery charges come down to a he-said-she-said situation, but the police are forced to pursue the action. A criminal defense lawyer can help you uncover evidence that the battery never happened, which can be a strong defense. Evidence in battery cases can disappear quickly, including CCTV footage and other video evidence, so it is wise to discuss your case with a lawyer as soon as you can.

Discredit the Alleged Victim

Another strategy is to discredit the character and testimony of the alleged victim. In the case above, the businessman can bring evidence that the other man was completely drunk and had been taunting him and other people in the bar for at least half an hour. Perhaps the person claiming to be the victim had a criminal history of assault and battery in the past or other charges against him indicating a propensity towards violence. These facts can be used together with a self-defense strategy.

Contact a Schaumburg Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

At Glasgow & Olsson, our award-winning criminal defense lawyers have a proven track record of success in many high-profile state and federal criminal cases. Contact Glasgow & Olsson today to schedule your initial consultation to learn how our legal team can fight for your rights if you have been wrongfully charged with domestic battery

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