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Affray refers to a criminal offence characterised by violent, tumultuous, or threatening conduct that causes fear, harm, or public disturbance. It typically involves two or more individuals engaging in a physical altercation or the use of threatening behaviour in a public place.

Affray is often prosecuted as a serious crime due to its potential to endanger public safety and disrupt the peace. The exact elements and penalties associated with affray can vary by jurisdiction, but it generally involves actions that create a reasonable apprehension of violence or harm among the public.

Below we outline the offence of Affray as per the Criminal Code as well as what the police must prove, penalties you may face if found guilty of this crime, and legal defences.

For information and advice specific to your matter, it’s recommended you speak with a criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible. Call our 24 hour crime line now on 0488 999 980 for a free case evaluation or submit an enquiry online.

What the law says about Affray

Section 72 of the Criminal Code Queensland states:

  1. A person who takes part in a fight in a public highway, or takes part in a fight of such nature as to alarm the public in any other place to which the public have access is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for 1 year.
  2. 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).
  3. Affray may be committed in private as well as in public places where people may be present.

What the police must prove

In order for the Police to prove their case at court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.

  1. The accused used or threatened unlawful violence towards another.
  2. The conduct was such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for his or her personal safety.

It will be necessary for the police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence.

Maximum penalty

The maximum penalty for the offence is 1 year imprisonment.

Which court will hear the matter

This matter is an indictable offence which can only be dealt with in the District Court.

Possible defences

  1. Duress
  2. Accused did not take part in the fight.
  3. The accused did not make a threat.
  4. Necessity

The Criminal Lawyers at Potts Lawyers have the experience necessary to deal with Affray charges and other Assault & Violent Offences. Contact us for more information about how we can defend you.

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