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What is Affray?

Affray is a violence offence very similar to assault but that is considered to be more serious.  Where assault may be committed towards an individual, affray involves other people fearing for their safety as a result of the act of violence.  To be charged with the offence of affray, the accused would have to use or threaten violence towards a person or people in such a way that another person or people who were present and/or witness to the violence feared for their personal safety as a result.      

When clients ask our criminal lawyers about Affray, they generally have riots and/or public disorder in mind.  While the very definition of affray means that the most common charges do involve incidents involving things like brawls and assaults in public spaces, Affray will not always involve large groups of people brawling in the street.    Affrays can be committed by one person using unlawful violence towards another and can also include acts committed in the privacy of their own home. 

Affray is a serious offence that is considered to be an offence against the public order to protect the peace.  The charge carries a maximum prison term of 10 years. 

Charged with Affray?  How to beat a charge of  Affray

Ways that our criminal lawyers beat charges of Affray for our clients include by raising self-defence and identification (that the person who committed the offence was someone, but not you).

If you intend to plead guilty our criminal lawyers have a proven track record of keeping our clients out of jail as well as having no conviction recorded for Affray.

If you are charged with Affray, we can help you. You’ll be found not guilty of Affray if the police are unable to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you:

  1. Used or threatened unlawful violence towards another;
  2. Your conduct was such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for his or her personal safety;
  3. You intended to use or threaten violence, or you were aware that your conduct may be violent or threaten violence.

Defences available include: self-defence.

Pleading guilty to Affray

If you committed the offence and the police can prove so, we want to get you a better result than anyone else. We will often negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to less serious facts or even a less serious charge so you get a lighter sentence.

The maximum penalty for Affray is 10 years imprisonment in the District Court or two years imprisonment in the Local Court. Although, these penalties are typically reserved for the worst offenders.

You can read about all the sentencing options that a court has, including having no conviction recorded for Affray.

Do I need references for a guilty plea?

We believe references are an extremely important part of a plea of guilty in court. Find out more about how to write a good references.

Why choose Australian Criminal Law Group?

Our criminal lawyers are experts at obtaining the best outcome possible for Affray offences. For these offences, a good lawyer can be the difference between a conviction and no criminal record and freedom or jail.  Read more about Australian Criminal Law Group.

To discuss your Affray charge, call Australian Criminal Law Group at our Sydney office, Parramatta office, of Blacktown offices or make a website inquiry today.

You can also email us at

Case Study

Australian Criminal Law Group represented people charged with Affray following a brawl involving security guards in the city. Criminal lawyer Joe Correy examined the CCTV available and compared it to the versions of events given by the security guards. He was then able to cross-examine the witnesses on inconsistencies between CCTV and what they said happened.  The Magistrate found the security guards were untruthful witnesses and found our clients not guilty.

Case study

Mr Harb represented a 21-year-old man caught up in a wild brawl that involved 16 people. Mr Harb negotiated the facts so that his role in the affray was minor. Based on Mr Harb’s submissions the magistrate saw fit to deal with the matter by way of a section 10 with no conviction.

Case Study

Australian Criminal Law Group represented a Defendant charged with Riot following a brawl that involved 30 people and weapons. CCTV showed our client stabbing someone in the back. Criminal lawyer Deng Adut negotiated for the Defendant to plead guilty to the lesser charge of Affray. This was on the basis that he threw a punch at the early stage of the brawl but used the weapon later in self-defence. The Magistrate found his involvement was minor and he received a good behaviour bond.

Case Study

Australian Criminal Law Group represented a Defendant charged with Affray. The brawl was between members of two bikie gangs. Criminal lawyer Joe Correy negotiated the facts to reflect that our client was not the instigator. He also showed that his involvement was incidental to a friendship, and that he was not a bikie. The Magistrate found him to be of good character and unlikely to reoffend and did not record a criminal conviction.


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