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 serious common law offence which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment, pursuant to section 320 of the Crimes Act 1958.
Affray charges are generally difficult to prove, as the offence often involves multiple people and eventful circumstances. There are many questions to consider prior to making a decision to plead guilty to an Affray charge.
Was there a public disagreement which involved violence or the use of unjustified force? Were you involved in the fight? What was the level of your involvement? Were there other bystanders? Is there likely to be CCTV footage or a personal video recording of the argument?
It is important you seek advice from an experienced criminal lawyer at the earliest opportunity, as decisions you make in the early stages of your matter could be detrimental to your ongoing case.
Penalties the Court can impose for Affray:
- Imprisonment (Jail – Full Time)
- Community Corrections Orders
- Adjourned undertaking
A community corrections order, fine or adjourned undertaking for this offence can all be imposed with or without a criminal conviction. The ongoing consequences of a criminal conviction can be serious as some jobs require you to have no criminal convictions on your record prior to commencing employment. A conviction for Affray might jeopardise your job or make it difficult to obtain visas for overseas travel. Moreover a conviction for an offence of violence will almost certainly rule out certain career paths such as teaching and government employment options, including employment within the defence force. Violent offences may also result in sentences that include imprisonment even where an individual has no previous convictions.
The Offence of Affray:
Affray is a serious common law offence that is generally defined as the fighting of two or more persons in a public place that terrifies people of reasonable firmness and courage.
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.
What the Police Must Prove:
To find you guilty of Affray, the police must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You used force or were somehow involved in the use of force;
- That force was against a person or persons; and
- A bystander of reasonable firmness and courage might reasonably be expected to be terrified by your use of force or involvement in the use of force.
Should I Plead Guilty or Not Guilty?
You should always seek legal advice before deciding whether to plead guilty or not guilty, especially for a serious charge such as Affray.
There is no hard and fast rule to whether you should plead guilty or not guilty. Every matter and charge is different, both in the circumstances of the offence and the law that applies to it. Generally, your lawyer will advise you to either:
- Plead not guilty if the prosecution may have difficulty proving the charge of Affray or if a defence is available; or
- Plead guilty if the prosecution is likely to prove the charge of Affray.
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 their 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?
Affray is an indictable offence but can be heard in either the Magistrates’ or County Courts depending on the seriousness of the circumstances.
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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