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A criminal offense generally defined as the fighting of two or more persons in a public place that disturbs others.

The offense originated under the Common Law and in some jurisdictions has become a statutory crime. Although an agreement to fight is not an element of the crime under the common-law definition, some statutes provide that an affray can occur only when two or more persons agree to fight in a public place.

An affray is a type of Disorderly Conduct and a breach of the peace since it is conduct that disturbs the peace of the community. It is punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both.


noun agitation, altercation, battle, brabble, brawl, brush, clash, combat, commotion, conflict, disturbance, embroilment, encounter, fight, fisticuffs, fracas, fray, free fight, hand-to-hand fight, melee, passage at arms, pugna, rixa, row, scrimmage, scuffle, set-to, sortie, squabble, struggle, tumult, tumultuous assault, tumultus, turmoil, tussle, violence
See also: altercation, battle, belligerency, collision, commotion, conflict, confrontation, disaccord, dispute, disturbance, embroilment, fight, fracas, fray, outbreak, outburst, pandemonium, riot


in English criminal law, the use or threat of the use of unlawful violence, causing a person to fear for his safety, defined in terms of the fear caused to a person of reasonable firmness fearing for his safety. Mere words are sufficient, and the offence maybe committed in public or private with no other person actually being about.

AFFRAY, criminal law. The fighting of two or more persons, in some public place, to the terror of the people.
     2. To constitute this offence there must be, 1st, a fighting; 2d, the fighting must be between two or more persons; 3d, it must be in some public place ; 4th, it must be to the terror of the people.
     3. It differs from a riot, it not being premeditated; for if any persons meet together upon any lawful or innocent occasion, and happen on a sudden to engage in fighting, they are not guilty of a riot but an affray only; and in that case none are guilty except those actually engaged in it. Hawk. b. 1, c. 65, s. 3 ; 4 Bl. Com. 146; 1 Russell, 271.

References in periodicals archive ?
Haydn Morgan, 42, of Herbert Street, Bridgend; Dean Flowers, 32, of Clos-y-Carlwm, Thornhill, Cardiff; Aled James, 26, of Richard Street, Ferndale; and Dave Wing, 53, of Shearman Place, Grangetown, Cardiff, are all charged with affray and will appear in court on the same date.
Earlier, on Monday, Stokes alongside two others was charged with affray in the Bristol brawl which happened last September on a night out with England teammates during the one-day series against West Indies.
arrested of affray since been " Witnesses who saw the attack described seeing five or six young men attacking two men near to Chapel Terrace.
The new statutory offences affray and violent disorder replaces the common law offences of rout, riot and affray in the Crimes Act 1958.
A 36-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of affray and a 24-yearold man was arrested on suspicion of affray and possession of an offensive weapon.
He added: "That includes an affray where, when the police officers went to arrest him, he brandished a machete at them.
A 15-year-old boy from London was held on suspicion of violent disorder and cannabis possession and an 18-year-old man from Sutton on suspicion of affray.
N-Dubz rapper Dappy is facing a jail sentence after being found guilty of assault and affray for starting a fight at a petrol station after he was "disrespected" by two women.
1, disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, inciting a riot, common law affray, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and a drug violation near a school or park.
James Cullen, 23, of Llys Glanrafon, Rhyl, received 14 months, consecutive to a prison sentence he is already serving, after he admitted the affray, which in his case was racially aggravated, and the public order offence.
Townsley, who has no previous convictions, admitted affray and was jailed for eight months by a judge who said a message had to go out that street violence was unacceptable.
Mr Gerrard was cleared of affray last month following the attack on Marcus McGee, but six of the Liverpool midfielder's friends received suspended jail terms and community service.