Alcohol is well known for its disinhibiting effects. It has the ability to prompt people to behave in ways that, while not contrary to their nature, they might usually not indulge in when sober. People who are usually stoic might start hugging others, while people who usually keep their anger or irritation in check might become more aggressive.
If you know you have a tendency to get physical with people when you drink, that might be reason enough to avoid going to places like sports bars with your friends where you could easily get into an argument while drinking. Depending on how things unfold, a drunken dispute could potentially lead to assault charges the next day.
You don’t have to hurt someone for it to be assault
What many people don’t understand about assault as a criminal offense is that you don’t have to cause severe bodily harm to someone else for an act to constitute assault. Instead, you only have to make an unlawful attempt to cause bodily injury to another person.
There doesn’t need to be any physical injury, just the intent to cause harm. Grabbing someone by the shirt collar, shoving them or making aggressive gestures while also threatening them verbally could all potentially lead to someone bringing assault charges against you.
Serious injury might lead to assault and battery charges
Under California law, if you cause violent harm to another person, they could prosecute you for battery. Such offenses are more serious than simple assault, but both charges warrant a close evaluation and defense. Anyone accused of a violent offense, whether involves alcohol or not, should carefully consider their defense options before going to court.