Cardi B’s recent arrest has caused many fans to wonder: will it lead to jail time?
On Monday, the “I Like It” rapper, 25, was charged with one Class A misdemeanor count of third-degree assault and two Class A misdemeanor counts of second-degree reckless endangerment stemming from a fight that took place at a strip club in Queens, New York, back in August.
According to FindLaw, the penalty for third-degree assault in New York is up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000, while Stephen Bilkis & Associates reports that misdemeanor second-degree reckless endangerment can lead to time in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to three years of probation.
In accordance with the New York State penal code, individuals face a count of assault in the third degree if they are found guilty of one of the following: intending to cause physical injury to another person or inadvertently injuring a third party; recklessly causing physical injury to another person; acting with criminal negligence, they cause “physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument.”
The terms “deadly weapon” and “dangerous instrument” are vague enough to include anything from traditional weapons to fists in a physical altercation. However, an individual also must be found guilty of “physical injury” which, according to New York legal firm Crotty and Saland, equates to “substantial pain.”
While third-degree assault carries an intent to harm, reckless endangerment occurs when an individual acts irresponsibly, creating what the New York penal code defines as “a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person.”
So what exactly did Cardi do that landed her in court?
According to The New York Times and TMZ, two bartenders at Angels Strip Club claimed that Cardi ordered an attack on them because she believed her husband Offset, 26, had had an affair with one of them — claims they have strongly denied.
Cardi was “throwing chairs, bottles and hookahs in the club at 3 a.m.,” a police spokesman told CNN. The mother of 3-month old Kulture Kiari was arrested after surrendering to police on Monday and will be arraigned on Oct. 29, PEOPLE confirmed.
In order for Cardi to face jail time, she must be found guilty of third-degree assault and receive among the strictest sentences from the presiding judge. In order for this to occur, there must be proof that she physically injured the two women during the altercation at the strip club.
Sources close to Cardi previously denied that she was involved in the attack, according to TMZ. While the bartenders were reportedly injured during the brawl, both women declined to receive medical treatment.
“We’re aware of no evidence that she caused anybody any harm on that night,” the rapper’s attorney Jeff Kern told press outside the police station on Monday. “We expect that the matter is going to be resolved expeditiously.”
A lawyer for the alleged victims begs to differ.
“Cardi B ordered and committed violent assaults against my clients, and is being called to justice for her crimes,” Joe Tacopina, an attorney for the alleged victims, said in a statement to PEOPLE. “Apparently, she thinks her celebrity status puts her above the law, since she has bragged to multiple people and on social media that she orchestrated these vicious attacks.”
Tacopina continued, “But reality is setting in, as justice does not care whether her name is Cardi B or Carly B, and she will now answer for her crimes.”