What A Charge of Affray Means
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What is affray?
A charge of affray relates to a person or group that uses or threatens unlawful violence, causing a reasonable person to fear for their safety.
Affray can be committed in either private or public settings and carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.
Affray under section 93C of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)
- A person who uses or threatens unlawful violence towards another and whose conduct is such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for his or her personal safety is guilty of affray and liable to imprisonment for 10 years.
- If 2 or more persons use or threaten the unlawful violence, it is the conduct of them taken together that must be considered for the purposes of subsection (1).
- For the purposes of this section, a threat cannot be made by the use of words alone.
- No person of reasonable firmness need actually be, or be likely to be, present at the scene.
- Affray may be committed in private as well as in public places.
Circumstances you may be charged with affray
In considering the legislation, a charge of affray is possible in the following circumstances:
- Involvement in a public fight, for example, a nightclub brawl or street fight
- Engaging in road rage
- Partaking in a riot or violent protest
What are defences to a charge of affray?
On a case-by-case basis, our criminal lawyers at the Australia Legal Practice may be able to defend a charge of affray if:
- Self-defence – Your actions were in the protection of yourself or another (including property), resulting in self-defence.
- Duress – The threats of another party forced you to act in a certain way, equating to duress.
- Necessity – It can be proved your actions were in necessity to prevent an ensuing greater harm.
Options when charged with affray
Subject to your circumstances, you may choose either to:
- Plead guilty – Admit to committing the offence and breaking the law
- Plead not guilty – Deny committing the offence and breaking the law
If you decide to plead not guilty, our experienced criminal lawyers will vehemently protect your rights so that you get the best possible defence.
The best way to get off a charge of affray is to contact our experienced criminal lawyers. Our solicitors at the Australian Legal Practice have extensive experience and specialise in affray charges. We provide tailored advice and are armed with the right knowledge to fight your case.
If your matter is urgent, call (02) 8084 9929 today to arrange a free initial consultation.
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