What Is the Meaning of “Simple Affray” In Court Cases?

So, you went to a club or bar and you found yourself in a fight. Before you know it, you’re charged with “simple affray,” something you’ve never heard of. What is simple affray, you wonder. 

Simple affray is a type of assault and battery crime in North Carolina. This crime can land you behind bars and cost you fines. It can also give you a criminal record and create a perception that you are a violent person – a characterization that can follow you for years to come. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Kurtz & Blum, PLLC can help defend against these charges and protect your rights. 

What Does It Mean to Be Charged with Simple Affray? 

Most people don’t ever think, “What does affray mean?” until they’re charged with it. Simple affray is a type of assault and battery charge in North Carolina that is sometimes charged after a fight breaks out. However, this offense is different from simple assault and battery because it occurs in a public place and can cause an altercation to escalate into a larger and more serious one. It causes others to be afraid that they might be hurt. The affray charge may be tacked on because the government wants to punish a defendant for inciting further violence. 

Examples of situations that may involve simple affray include:

  • Two people threaten to get into a fight at a concert.
  • People are drunk at a bar and get into a fight. Their friends jump into the brawl.
  • Protestors on the street threatened to riot. 
  • A friend eggs on a violent exchange between two other people.

To convict someone of simple affray, the prosecutor must prove:

  • They engaged in a fight with another person
  • The fight occurred in a public place.
  • The public experienced terror because of the fight.

What Are the Penalties for Simple Affray? 

GS § 14-33 does not give us the simple affray meaning, but it does state that the offense is considered a Class 2 misdemeanor. This means that conviction can result in up to 60 days in jail or a fine of up to $1,000. Additional penalties may include:

  • Community service
  • Probation
  • Restitution to pay for the victim’s injuries

Additionally, a conviction can significantly affect your future since the offense is considered a violent one. Our criminal defense lawyers can discuss the possible penalties you face, as well as potential defenses we may be able to raise on your behalf.  

Defenses to Simple Affray Charges

A knowledgeable lawyer can analyze the circumstances surrounding your affray charge and determine possible defenses. Witnesses may have seen what happened and may be able to testify on your behalf. The facility where the altercation occurred may have valuable video evidence that can support your version of events. A criminal defense lawyer can also investigate ways to have your case dismissed or pursue alternative sentencing.

How Our Raleigh Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help

If you have been charged with simple affray, our Raleigh criminal defense attorneys can aggressively defend you. Our well-established law firm is comprised of attorneys with more than 50 years of combined legal experience. Our collaborative approach means that you get the benefit of our collective experience. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.

Seth A. Blum is a graduate of Tufts University and Duke Law School. He also holds a Master’s Degree from the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy Studies. Seth is an experienced trial attorney who is licensed and has tried cases in both North Carolina State and Federal Courts. Seth is an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at the University of North Carolina School of Law. He regularly teaches other lawyers advanced trial techniques.