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What is the Law on Affray in Alabama and What are the Punishments for it?

Affray is a criminal offense where two different persons fight in the public and cause terror to others and disturb the peaceful environment. The law regarding Affray in Alabama is covered in Article 1 of Chapter 11 of the 2013 Code of Alabama.

Alabama Affray Law

Disorderly conduct that disturbs the peace and security of others is a punishable crime in the state of Alabama.

According to Section 13A-11-7 of Title 13A of the criminal code, a person will be considered to have indulged in disorderly conduct if he indulges in any of the following activities.

  • Engages in fighting with another person or a group of persons
  • Engages in a violently tumultuous or threatening behavior towards other people in the public
  • Makes unreasonable noise in the public
  • Speaks the obscene or abusive language in the public place and makes an obscene gesture to others
  • Disturbs a lawful assembly of persons in the public or a meeting of persons without having any lawful authority to do so
  • Assembles with another person in the public place with other person/s and rejects to comply with a lawful order from the law enforcement authorities to disperse peacefully
Alabama Affray Law

Disorderly Conduct is a Class C Misdemeanor 

According to Section 13A-11-7 of the 2013 Code of Alabama, disorderly conduct is a Class C misdemeanor in the state. Other crimes that are classified as Class C misdemeanors are harassment of other persons and public lewdness. Just like in other states of America, Class C misdemeanors are the lowest classes of offenses in Alabama.

A person who is charged with Class C misdemeanor could receive a jail sentence which does not exceed a period of 3 months. The person might also be fined with an amount that does not exceed $500.  In some cases, a person might receive both a jail sentence and fine for his conduct.

Affray Law Alabama

Acts Not Considered as Affray 

All the acts of that might be of concern of others are not considered as Affray. One of the acts that are not explicitly covered under Section 13A-11-7 is the carrying of a small firearm like a pistol.

If a person is merely seen carrying a pistol either in a secured position or holstered in a public place, he is not considered to be violating this section. However, it is a punishable offense if the person threatens others with the weapon without being provoked or faces a risk of harm.

Freedom of the Law Enforcement Authorities 

Law enforcement authorities are not encumbered by this section while acting to protect peace and security in society. Nothing that forms part of this section would be construed to be preventing the law enforcement authorities from acting against a person or a group of persons if they have a reasonable suspicion that they might breach the peace or adversely impact public safety.


Failure of Persons Indulging in Disorderly Acts to Disperse

Failure of persons indulging in disorderly acts to disperse is covered under Section 13A-11-6 of the 2013 Code of Alabama. A person can be convicted for failure to disperse while committing disorderly acts if he indulges in a disorderly act with five or more persons that can cause harm, disturbance, and alarm and intentionally refuses to disperse when he is ordered to do so by a public servant or peace officer.

Failure of a disorderly person to disperse is considered a Class B misdemeanor. Class B misdemeanors are punishable with a jail sentence up to a period of six months. The person might also be fined with an amount that does not exceed $3,000.   

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