Simple affray is not an offense that most people are aware of. Simple affray was first defined at common law, meaning a judge interpreted the crime during a case, but has beed reproduced in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-33(a). In order to be convicted of this offense, a person must be guilty of three things: (1) engages in a fight with at least one other person; (2) the fight takes place in a public place; and (3) the fight causes terror to the public. If a person is found guilty of this offense, that person will be facing a Class 2 misdemeanor.
It is important to note that a person can be guilty of simple affray without ever physically assaulting another person. If a person agrees to fight or induces a fight, then you can still be guilty of this offense. In most scenarios, both people, or all the parties to the fight, will be charged with simple affray.
Terror to the Public
What does it mean to bring terror to the public? Well, simply put, it means that members of the public experience some type of fear from the fight. This element is VERY easily met and may even be met if there are no members of the public around at the time of the fight.
Affray to Assault
As previously mentioned, a person can be guilty of simple affray without ever throwing a hit. However, if you do physically hit someone during the fight, you can be charged with simple assault.
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