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Affray cannot be solely committed verbally, therefore at the very least there must be a physical gesture. Generally, affray charges relate to offences committed in a public place. However, offences can also take place in private, for example within a home.
What is the difference between affray and other assault charges?
The key difference between affray and other assault charges (such as common assault, ABH, or GBH) is that it is an offence against the public peace rather than the individual themselves.
Affray charges may, in some instances, be accompanied by an additional assault charge.
How serious is an affray charge?
Affray is a serious offence.
A conviction of affray can also have significant consequences beyond court-imposed penalties. Due to the violent and serious nature of the offence, a conviction may severely impact an individual’s reputation and employability.
What to do if you’re accused of affray?
If you are facing an affray charge, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer will be able to advise you on the best course of action and help you build a defence against the charge.
There are several potential defences for an affray charge, depending on the circumstances. These include:
- If you were acting in self-defence or in defence of another person, you may be able to argue that your actions were justified.
- To qualify as affray, the disturbance must have been intentional or reckless. Therefore, f you can prove that your actions were accidental or unintentional, you may be able to avoid a conviction.
- In order to convict someone of affray, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual committed the offence. Therefore, insufficient evidence may lead to the case being dropped.