Anastasia Qvist is an outstanding lawyer. My criminal law situation (family violence order) was difficult, complex and Ana's diligence saved me as I was going through the most difficult period of my life. Ana is down to earth, commonsense and she even kept our costs to a minimum. She is a skilled litigator and knows the ins and outs of the ACT Magistrates Court. She dealt skillfully with the DPP and is an excellent negotiator. You will get a fair representation and she genuinely cares about her clients. She has my complete recommendation. The lady goes to bat for her clients.
I would strongly recommend Anastasia to anyone who is seeking legal representation. As a first-time offender who was charged with a Level 2 Drink Driving offence, she walked me through every step of the matter and was very upfront and clear on all aspects of my case. She was always accessible when I needed advice. Her approach and advice were excellent. Under her representation, I received the best possible outcome and managed to avoid a criminal conviction. She was a pleasure to deal with throughout the whole matter.
Anastasia Qvist was very professional and helpful in every step of my matter. I got a very good outcome and I can’t thank you enough for your hard work and the Armstrong Legal team in Canberra. I would highly recommend her!!!
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
Affray is a charge often preferred by police and prosecutors when they believe they are unable to prove an assault. The charge is made out if a Court decides that the conduct of the alleged offender was such as to leave a reasonable person in fear of his or her own safety.
An offence such as affray can result in a sentence that includes imprisonment, even where an individual has no previous convictions. It is important to get legal advice at an early stage to ascertain precisely what the consequences of a conviction may be and whether you have a defence. It is very important that you obtain legal advice before you take part in any police record of interview.
Like assault, affray carries a maximum penalty of two years’ imprisonment.
Penalties The Court Can Impose For An Affray Charge
- Imprisonment (Jail – Full Time)
- Intensive Correction Orders (ICO)
- Suspended sentence
- Good behaviour order
- Fine order
- Non-conviction order
- Reparation Order
- Non-association order
- Deferred Sentence Order
- Combination Sentence
The Offence Of Affray
Section 35A of the Crimes Act 1900 (ACT) states:
“A person commits an offence if:
- the person engages in conduct; and
- the conduct is violence or the threat of violence; and
- the violence or threat is directed towards someone else; and
- the violence or threat would be likely to cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety.
Maximum penalty: imprisonment for 2 years.
For subsection (1) (b), the violence, or the threat of violence, must involve more than words.”
According to Section 13 of the Criminal Code 2002 (ACT), “engage in conduct” means to do an act or to omit to do an act.
What Actions Might Constitute Affray?
Common examples of Affray include:
- Getting into a fight in front of one or more people;
- Yelling and threatening to punch someone;
- Road rage; or
- Participating in a riot.
It is important to remember that there may be consequences other than the penalty imposed by the court. A criminal conviction is serious and can have far-reaching consequences, particularly on what you do for a living. A criminal history can prevent you from working with children, in a hospital, in a bank, at a casino or as a security guard. Potential employers are also more likely to employ a person without any convictions over someone who has even a minor criminal conviction. A criminal conviction can also make it difficult to obtain visas for overseas travel.
However, depending on the circumstances of each case, it is sometimes possible to negotiate with the Prosecution with a view to an Affray charge (maximum penalty two years’ jail) being replaced with a charge of Fighting In a Public Place, which carries no jail term and a maximum penalty of a fine of $1000.
What The Police Must Prove:
To convict you of affray, the police must prove each element of the offence beyond reasonable doubt:
- That the person who committed that act was you;
- That you engaged in the relevant conduct;
- That the conduct was violent or involved the threat of violence;
- That it was directed towards another person;
- That a reasonable person in the same situation would fear for his or her safety as a result of that conduct.
“Engaged in conduct” means to do an act or to omit to do an act.
Possible Defences For Affray
The most common ways to defend this charge are:
- To maintain your innocence if you did not commit the act;
- To argue that you did not use or threaten to use violence;
- To argue that a person of reasonable firmness would not have feared for his of her personal safety because of your conduct; or
- To raise self-defence, necessity or duress as the reason for your conduct.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
As Affray carries a maximum penalty of two years, it is a summary matter, meaning it will be determined in the ACT Magistrates Court. The situation in NSW, where Affray carries a 10-year maximum penalty, is different. You should advise your lawyer exactly about where and with what you have been charged.
WHERE TO NEXT?
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.
WHY CHOOSE ARMSTRONG LEGAL?
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