Repute Law

(7.00 am to 11.00 pm, 7 days)

Are you aware of the possible defences if you’re charged with affray in New South Wales?

Affray: How to defend an affray charge in NSW

Facing criminal charges can be an overwhelming experience, and when it comes to affray offences in New South Wales (NSW), understanding the legal landscape IS crucial. If you or someone you know is confronting such charges, it is essential to be aware of the legal implications and potential defences available.

In this blog, we will delve into the intricacies of affray charges, explore possible defence strategies, examine relevant case law, and shed light on the consequences of being charged. Repute Law, one of Australia’s premier criminal law firms, comprises a team of Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers and Case Concierges®, also qualified lawyers. We are ready to guide you through this challenging situation and ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

Understanding Affray Offences in NSW

In NSW, an affray charge arises when a person uses unlawful violence towards another person or persons, which causes a reasonable individual present at the scene to fear for their safety. The key elements of an affray offence include:

  1. Unlawful Violence: The conduct must involve violence or the threat of violence, which can include physical force, weapons, or any act that implies impending harm.
  2. Fear of Safety: The violence or threat must be of such a nature that a reasonable person, present at the scene, would fear for their safety. It’s important to note that the fear doesn’t need to be directed towards the person responsible for the violent act.

The consequences of being charged with affray can be severe, including potential imprisonment, fines and a permanent criminal record. It is crucial to understand the nature of this offence, possible defences and the legal nuances surrounding it.

Affray, as defined under section 93C of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), occurs when a person uses or threatens unlawful violence towards another person and the conduct would cause a reasonable person present at the scene to fear for their safety. It is an offence that involves a public disturbance of the peace and can result in severe penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment upon conviction.

If convicted of affray, the accused will be deemed responsible for employing or threatening violence against the victim, exhibiting clear intent, and generating a sense of fear for their safety in any reasonable individual. Additionally, no lawful excuse would justify the act of using a carriage service to threaten the victim with violence.

When facing an affray charge, it is important to consider possible defences. The most common defence strategy revolves around disputing the elements of the offence. For instance, if the prosecution fails to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused used or threatened unlawful violence, the charge may not stand. Also, establishing that the accused had a reasonable excuse for their conduct, such as self-defence or defence of others, can also form a valid defence.

Relevant case law is vital in shaping the legal understanding of affray charges. The Courts have held that the essential elements of affray require the presence of at least two persons, one or both of whom must be using or threatening violence. This emphasises the importance of establishing the presence of both violence and reasonable fear among individuals witnessing the incident.

Furthermore, sentencing in affray cases is also very important. The Courts have highlighted the significance of individual circumstances, including the accused’s level of culpability, the extent of violence, any provocation, and the potential for rehabilitation. Understanding these guidelines can help structure an effective defence strategy for the best possible outcome.

Strategies for Handling Affray Charges

  1. Legal Counsel: The first step when facing an affray charge is to seek legal representation from experienced criminal defence lawyers who are well-versed in NSW laws. We at Repute Law can assess the specifics of the case, advise on the best course of action, and guide you through the legal process.
  2. Self-Defence: If the actions taken were in self-defence or defence of others, this can be a valid defence strategy. Your legal team will need to establish that your use of force was proportionate to the threat you faced.
  3. Mistaken Identity: In some cases, mistaken identity or misidentification can occur. If you were wrongly identified as a participant in the affray, your legal team can present evidence to demonstrate your innocence.
  4. Lack of Intent: Demonstrating that you did not have the requisite intent for an affray charge can be a valid defence. Your actions might not have been intended to cause fear or violence.

Repute Law stands out as one of Australia’s most suitable criminal law firms to handle your affray charges in NSW. Our team comprises Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers with extensive courtroom experience, ensuring you have the best legal representation throughout the process.

Unlike other firms, Repute Law is unique because we only have court lawyers who do not rely on junior lawyers for court appearances. Additionally, each client is allocated a dedicated Case Concierge® who is a qualified lawyer, providing exceptional client service to help achieve the best outcome.

We will also ensure you are fully prepared and equipped for any court appearances with our Court Ready® service. This covers things like Courtroom etiquette and what to wear in Court.


When facing the serious prospect of affray charges in NSW, it is crucial to obtain the right legal advice and representation. Repute Law, with its team of Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers and Case Concierges, is well-equipped to guide you through the complexities of the criminal justice system and fight for your rights. With our expertise, experience, and unwavering commitment to our clients, we are confident of providing exceptional representation to help you navigate this challenging situation successfully.

By engaging Repute Law at the earliest opportunity, our Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers can promptly gather evidence, interview witnesses and prepare the best possible defence. Our team will negotiate with the police, aiming to minimise reputational loss by seeking to have the charges reduced or even dismissed without going to Court. Early representation could mean the difference between a conviction and an acquittal.

Contact Repute Law today to ensure you receive the best possible defence and achieve the optimal outcome for your affray case.

# Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

The content in this blog is to provide general information only and is not intended to provide and does not constitute legal advice on any matter. You should not rely upon the information contained in this blog as legal advice. Please contact us if you wish to discuss anything relevant in this blog. Any communications arising from this site are not intended to and do not create a legal relationship between Repute Law and any person.

Share this


Lastest Posts

Do you know how to respond to a police search in NSW?

Police Searches: How to respond when faced with police searches in NSW? When confronted with a police search, it’s crucial to comprehend the legal framework governing such actions. The law in New South Wales requires that police adhere to certain procedures during searches to ensure they are conducted lawfully. Any

Read More

Are you subject to cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying: Here’s what you need to know In today’s digital age, cyberbullying has emerged as a significant societal issue, with far-reaching consequences. If you’re grappling with cyberbullying charges in New South Wales, comprehending the legal framework and your defence options is paramount. Penned by a seasoned legal expert from Repute

Read More