affray and public violence lawyers Central Coast NSW 2250

What is Affray?

An affray charge is generally laid by the police when a person is involved in a brawl or fight in a public place. The offence most commonly occurs where a person behaves in a manner in public which would cause others to fear for their safety, however, the offence may also occur in private situations.

Affray is usually considered more serious than common assault and carries heavier penalties. The main difference between assault and affray is that other people fear for their safety.

If you are charged with affray, you will have to go to Court. If convicted by the Court, you will have a criminal record, and you may face imprisonment. The offence of affray carries a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment in the Local Court and 10 years imprisonment in the District Court.

A lawyer experienced in affray and public violence offences may be able to persuade the Courts not to record a conviction against you and have the matter dealt with by way of a “section 10” or a non-conviction Conditional Release Order.

What are the elements of Affray?

To prove affray, the prosecution must show beyond reasonable doubt that –

  • A person used or threatened to use unlawful violence toward another person, and
  • That this person intended to use, or intended to threaten to use violence, and
  • The actions would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear   for their personal safety, and
  • The person did so without lawful excuse.

It is worth noting that a person of reasonable firmness need not necessarily be present at the scene and that a threat cannot be made by the use of words alone.

What are some examples of Affray?

Examples of “Affray & Public Violence” include -

  • Road rage
  • Fighting inside a pub or bar
  • Threatening to punch another person in public
  • Participating in a violent public demonstration

The actions of the person being sentenced and the behaviour of any co-offender will both be considered when determining an appropriate sentence for an affray charge.

What is Violent Disorder?

Violent disorder offences involve a group of 3 or more people together who use or threaten unlawful violence that would cause a person of reasonable firmness to fear for their personal safety. A maximum penalty or 6 months imprisonment and/or a fine of $1,100 can be imposed for this offence.

Are Affray and Riot the same?

No. The offence of riot occurs where 12 or more persons are present together use or threaten unlawful violence for a common purpose and their conduct (as a group) is such that it would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for their personal safety, each of the persons using unlawful violence for the common purpose is guilty of riot and liable to imprisonment for 15 years.

We are here to help

Fourtree Lawyers have extensive experience defending clients on the Central Coast facing affray and public disorder charges in Court. If you have been charged with affray and the police invite you to participate in a record of interview you should exercise your “right to silence” and call us immediately.

Your lawyer can explain and guide you through the entire Court process and work with you to minimise the legal ramifications of your offence.

If a section 10 or a non-coviction Conditional Release Order is not appropriate, our affray and public disorder lawyers can help reduce any penalties, minimise any fines you may face and help you avoid or minimise a gaol term.

Contact our Central Coast Lawyers on 1300 529 444 as soon as possible. The earlier we can start building the strongest case possible, the higher your chance of getting the best outcome.

More reading - 

Do I have the right to silence?

Do I need a criminal lawyer?



  • Kevin and Jane are without a doubt 100% there to support you through Your whole ordeal reassuring you all the way My experience from finding Fourtree Lawyers on Google in a fairly unsure position, reading the reviews to the successful outcomes was the only referral I had, believe me when I say you will be happy with their experience in all fields of law which is insurmountable and they will obtain the best favourable outcome in any circumstance. Fourtree Lawyers are there for you to bring things back into perspective...

    RS - Port Macquarie

  • “Kevin and Jane were my “knights in shining armour.” I can’t thank these two people enough. They gave their everything and most important believed me when I told them my story. I am forever grateful for their professional attitude and for giving 100% to free me from my nightmare. I was able to plead guilty but also most importantly was not forced to lie and compromise my integrity and own personal values and standards. I was very happy with the outcome and the way I was treated. They communicated constantly...

    VR - Charmhaven

  • Had the most amazing experience with Fourtree Lawyers kevin vierboom who represented my partner was helpful and understanding and we got a great result better then expected ? jane hogan, I was so blessed to have her by my side. They are an amazing team and i would recommend them to everyone also great value for money. Especially considering i only called the morning of the court case and they were all over it at my bek and call thankyou so much guys im so appreciative for all your help today

    AB - Budgewoi

  • I was lucky enough to have Kevin take my case and am truly grateful for the services he and his team provided. From the outset, I was made to feel comfortable and knew from the first time meeting with them that they would go above and beyond to get the best possible outcome and that is exactly what they did. Fourtree Lawyers provides exceptional service with outstanding results and I would recommend Kevin to anyone and everyone who is in need of these services.

    OC - Avoca Beach

Court Results

AFFRAY & 2 x ASSAULT ABH | Case Dismissed

Affray, 2 x Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm T2 –  Gosford Local Court 

Our client, a 24-year-old male who lives on the Central Coast with his partner, was charged with affray and 2 counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm T2. The maximum penalties for these offences are 10 years imprisonment and 5 years imprisonment respectively. Solicitor Kevin Vierboom conducted negotiations with the police to obtain agreed facts in this matter. Mr. Vierboom made extensive submissions to the Court with regard to whether or not the conduct by our client was unlawful in the circumstances of this case. Following consideration of these submissions, the Magistrate formed the view that our client’s conduct was indeed not unlawful in the circumstances.  The Magistrate dismissed the matter and our client was free to go. Our client was extremely grateful for the outcome of this case.