In North Carolina, simple affray is likely a crime you’ve not heard of. Well, until you’re facing charges for it, that is.
In the state of North Carolina, affray is an assault and battery crime, but there’s a lot more to know about it than that. And if you’re facing criminal charges for affray in any form, you definitely want to know more about this crime. But even if you’re not facing charges, it’s a good idea to understand what affray is so you can avoid charges for it in the future. Read on to find out what you need to know, whether you’re facing a charge for this crime or not.
Simple Affray in North Carolina
In the state of North Carolina, simple affray is typically a crime that occurs when two people fight in a public place in such a way as to make others afraid of them. This crime is often charged in situations where there is no injury or there are only minor injuries that will not require any medical treatment.
In order for someone to be successfully convicted of simple affray by state prosecutors, there are several things they must prove to the court such as:
- Two or more people were involved in a fight – A fight must have occurred but the fight did have to include an actual assault in order for this to be charged, which is how this crime differs from assault.
- The fight took place in public – The key to simple affray is that it was a physical altercation that took place in a public place. This factor is necessary for the third element of the crime to be true.
- The fight caused the public to be frightened – If anyone that witnessed the fight was fearful, then the prosecutor can often prove that affray took place.
Simple affray can take place anywhere that is public, from bars to street corners.
What Are the Penalties for Simple Affray?
In most circumstances, simple affray is considered a Class 2 misdemeanor in the state. If you are convicted, you can face up to one month in jail and fines of as much as $1,000.
In cases where the fight resulted in serious injury or there are other factors involved, then a more serious crime may be charged such as assault.
Is Simple Affray Assault in North Carolina?
Simple affray falls under the same umbrella as assault, but it’s a crime against the public peace more than a crime against an individual. When an individual has a crime such as this perpetrated against them, then it may be assault instead of affray.
Simple Affray Defenses
You have the right to defend yourself against any criminal charges against you, even for misdemeanor crimes such as simple affray. While every case is unique, there are some defenses commonly used in cases of simple affray by experienced attorneys. These defenses include:
If you can find a witness to testify that they were present when the altercation occurred, but were not scared by it, then that can poke holes in the prosecution’s case against you since making the public scared is a key element of simple affray.
Many public places have video surveillance. If that information can be obtained by the defense and it shows your version of events and your testimony is supported, then the case against you may be dropped.