Affray

The criminal offence of Affray is when a person or persons uses or threatens unlawful violence towards another person or persons.

Which causes the other person or persons of what the law deems “reasonable firmness” to fear for his or her personal safety.

For instance, the below behaviour can be considered affray:   

  • A fight in a public place
  • A fight in a private place (such as a private carpark or another area)
  • A road rage incident
  • A fight in a shopping centre
  • A protest that has turned violent.   

 

THE LAW

Section 93(C) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) states that:

“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”.

Also, no person of reasonable firmness needs actually be, or be likely to be, present at the scene and Affray may be committed in private or public places.

 

MAXIMUM/POSSIBLE PENALTY

The maximum penalty for affray is a prison sentence of up to 2 years (if heard in the Local Court) or up to 10 years (If heard in the District Court).

The above penalties are reserved for the worse cases of offending.

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a Firearm/Weapons charge of:

  • Full-time Imprisonment;
  • An Intensive Correction Order (ICO);
  • A Community Correction Order (CCO);
  • A Conditional Release Order (CRO).

 

DEFENCES

Some of the defences available for affray are:

  • You do not intend to cause fear and used only words.
  • If you were defending yourself or another OR yours or another’s property you may have a Defence of “Self-Defence” even in situations where “Pre-Emptive Force” is used. Moreover, at times there be also be circumstances where you may argue that there was “No duty or need to retreat”.
  • If you were compelled to act in a certain way due to the circumstances, or the threats of another you may be able to argue “Duress”;
  • If your actions were necessary to prevent a greater harm from occurring, you may have the defence of “Necessity”;

 

THE FACTS THAT MUST BE PROVEN

Since Affray is a criminal offence, the burden of proof lies on the Prosecution. The prosecution must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  • You used, or threatened to use violence towards another person;
  • Those threats did not consist of words alone
  • You intended to use or threaten to use violence;
  • Your actions would cause a reasonable person to fear for their personal safety; and
  • You did so without lawful excuse meaning that a defence at law does not apply to you.

 

Case file

Our client was involved in an altercation in the private carpark at her place of residence. There were four (4) other people involved, all who lived at the complex. Police were called and our client was charged with Affray along with another two (2) people. We were able to successfully represent to police that our client was acting in Self-defence after viewing the CCTV footage from different angles. After consideration of our representations police agreed and withdraw all the charges against our client.

 

CHOICES AT LAW OPTIONS

For using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence, Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® offers the following options:

1.     We initiate negotiation with prosecutors (police) (a term referred to as “plea negotiations”) and plead to withdrawal or downgrade of the charge or alternatively, seek amendments to the police fact sheets or documents.

2.     At the hearing/trial, Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® shall if you so instruct Plead Not Guilty and drive the argument based on prosecution’s inability to prove the elements of their accusation.

3.     Alternatively, Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® may plead guilty on your instructions however, the hearing shall revolve around the facts with an objective to obtain a moderate or minimum punishment.

4.     Lastly, Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® on your instructions enter a plea of guilt where you accept all the charges pressed by the police, but we present a case so solid on your behalf, with an objective to persuade and convince the Court to not record a criminal conviction against you.

For further information on your choices at law click on (CHOICES AT LAW tab on our website)

 

WHY REP-REVIVE CRIMINAL & EMPLOYMENT LAWYERS®

There are several reasons to engage Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers®:

  •  We are always in your corner

At Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® we understand the gravity of a criminal charge on your reputation. Thus, we work with the utmost diligence and fervour to restore any dints to our client’s repute. We fight for your rights and liberty earnestly, and for the best results, irrespective of the intensity of the matter. All these factors have made us known in the industry as always being in our client’s corner. 

  •  We bring about excellent results

Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® is driven by positive outcomes and defend your case with skills which have been sharpened by years of experience. You will be dealing with lawyers who are proficient at their craft and will defend your case with rigour and an aim to have the matter withdrawn, downgraded, dismissed or the minimal penalty available at law imposed.

Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® are adept in all forms of advocacy and will present your case in the most skilful manner in Court. 

  • Your case will be in the hands of an experienced lawyer

Irrespective of your decision in deciding the course of the case, you will be supported and guided by Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® who have been in the provision of legal service for over 21 years. 

If you are caught up in this charge our team at Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® are best suited for representing your case.

Please contact our office on 0419 998 398 or 0492 857 721 or email info@rpr5.sydney for more information. The first consultation is free.

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