Affray – what is it and how serious is it? A guide from our criminal solicitors
30 July 2021
Have you recently been charged with affray and have no idea what it is?
Were you drunk, got into a fight or a brawl and are now worried about the long-term outcome of what such an offence could mean?
In the UK, sadly, assault is common and as a response, there are many different types of assault charges that can be levied against you. Of course, this will be determined primarily by the arresting officers, but regardless of the type of assault you are charged with, you are going to need legal representation.
At ABV Solicitors, we are proud to be able to offer our clients our expertise and advice 24 hours every day. Our criminal solicitor comes to the police station and discusses your options with you, while also liaising with the police and other legal professionals to have the charges reduced or dropped. And with our level of expertise and knowledge of this area, we are the best team to hire!
So, back to the key questions you may have about being charged with affray; what is it and is it significant in the UK legal system? Our criminal solicitor answers below.
What is affray?
You will be deemed guilty of affray if you use, or threaten to use, unlawful violence towards someone else, which would cause that person to fear for their safety.
So, threatening to punch someone in the street while making said person scared that you will do so would count as an affray, according to our criminal solicitor.
When will I be charged with it?
As mentioned earlier, common instances of affray occur when one person shouts threats at another person in public. But, the person who is being threatened has to be convinced that those threats will lead to an actual assault.
While considered more serious, the shouting of death threats is also considered a subcategory of affray, but the sentencing is more serious, especially if you are holding a weapon when the threat is made.
Is it still affray if a police officer is assaulted?
Yes, it is.
If you are approached by police and threaten to injure them, pull a weapon on them threatening to use it or make death threats, this counts as affray.
Remember, being intoxicated or drunk while committing this act does not often allow for a lessening of the sentencing, barring extreme extenuating circumstances.
What is the maximum sentence for affray?
This is tough to say, as many sentences surrounding affray are based on the situation itself and its severity.
However, under UK law, if you are found guilty of affray (general) then the maximum sentence is 3 years of imprisonment. But this can be extended based on severity and the people involved.
Will I also be fined?
You can be fined for affray, but the amount that you will be fined is not set and is deemed as an unlimited amount. Again, this will be more expensive based on the severity of the affray and threats.