You may have heard the term “affray” or are currently accused of committing this crime. Classed as interfering with others or authorities, affray falls under US codes and Statutes.
“O.C.G.A. §16-11-32 defines affray as the fighting between two or more persons in some public place to the disturbance of the public tranquility.”
As such, affray needs to meet the test of including three elements:
- Intent to fight
- Two or more people were involved in the altercation
- The event occurred in a public place
However, if you were defending yourself or the altercation occurred in your private residence, affray does not apply.
Although heated exchanges can cause the public to feel afraid or under threat, these actions do not necessarily rise to affray. Two or more people spontaneously fighting or engaging in physical violence in an arranged fight in public may meet the required tests under law.
In simple terms, any space (even if that space is usually public) that does not require an invitation to use is considered a public place. For instance, if you are attending a seminar at a hotel that is open to all, an accusation of affray may arise if you get into a fight at the event.
Under Georgia law, affray is classed as a misdemeanor. You may receive a fine of up to $1,000 if convicted. The maximum jail time for affray is one year. Unfortunately, the consequences of a conviction may extend beyond any court judgment. It is therefore important to build a strong defense against accusations of affray.
There are several defense strategies that can result in charges against you being reduced or dropped. Your lawyer can argue that the fight happened in a private place, which can lead to the prosecutor dropping charges.
In many cases, the Law Office of Jeff Manciagli can also demonstrate that there was no disturbance of the peace. This is achieved through using evidence such as witness statements and law enforcement reports.
If you have been accused of affray, reach out to Law Office of Jeff Manciagli in Georgia today. We offer a free consultation to all potential clients.
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Atlanta, GA 30324
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