Affray and Public Violence Lawyers

Affray is an offence under section 93C of the Crimes Act.

Affray is defined as the unlawful use of violence (or threat of violence) towards another person, in circumstances where that conduct would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for their personal safety.  However, the threat cannot be made by words alone.

A person of reasonable firmness doesn’t actually need to be present; it will be sufficient if the prosecution can prove that a person of reasonable firmness would have feared for their safety had they been present.

Affray is a serious offence, carrying a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment. It is treated seriously because it is viewed as being an offence against public order.

Common examples of an Affray

The main difference between assault and affray is when other people fear for their safety.

This could include:

  • Threatening violence against a co-worker
  • Fighting in a pub or bar
  • Being involved in a violent public demonstration or protest
  • Road rage

Defences to Affray

If you have been charged with affray it is vital that you seek legal advice. An experienced criminal lawyer will be able to advise you on how to plead and whether there are defences available, such as duress or self-defence.

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