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What is the Law on affray in Alaska and What are the Punishments for it?

Among the various types of crimes that are being committed by people day in and day out, there are a few crimes that are difficult to define or that are difficult to deal with even by the learned judges. Affray may be one such crime though there are a few definitions that explain the crime.

The crime of affray can be explained like this. A person is said to commit the crime of affray if he threatens to use unlawful violence or uses such violence against another person and his behavior and conduct are such that they cause fear in the mind of another person present during the incident.

In legal terms, affray is a fight fought by two or more people, more particularly, in a public place. The fight should be such that it should cause fear in the minds of the public who are present there. It is a criminal offense under the common law.

Alaska Affray Law

This means that this offense does not find a specific place in the statutes of the criminal laws of the states of the USA. The government or the prosecutor should prove three key components of this crime in order to get the defendant convicted. Not only that, these three key components should be proved without any doubt. The key components of the crime that have to be proved by the government or the prosecutor are:

  • The defendant has really fought with another person or with more than one person.
  • The fight should have taken place in public or in a place that is open to the public.
  • The incident should have created fear in the mind of at least one person.
Affray Law Alaska

Punishment for committing the crime of affray in the state of Alaska

A person who has been found guilty of having committed the crime of affray and has been convicted will be awarded a sentence that is appropriate with the nature of the criminal act he has committed because affray comes under common law crimes. There are no specific statutes that deal with affray in the states of the USA.

Therefore, the sentence should be in conformity with the common usage or practice that prevails "in the Commonwealth." Simply put, if the injuries caused during the fight are serious, the government or the prosecutor will insist that the court should impose a very harsh penalty.

Every state has its own laws for dealing with the crime of affray. Therefore, punishments also vary widely. As far as the state laws of Alaska are concerned, the criminal code was completely rewritten during the later part of the 1970s. In fact, new statutes were proposed during this exercise.

The first clause of one of the statutes that may deal with the crime of affray says that a person can be charged with the crime of breach of the peace if he or she uses abusive or opprobrious language for inciting another person for violence or if there is a likelihood of provocation of immediate violence due to the language the person used.

The second clause of the above statute covers minor shoves, kicks, or slaps that may not qualify for being put under the category of assaults. This is because these may not cause physical injuries.

The whole idea of rewriting the criminal code may be for including a sub-section in the statutes so that "fighting other than in self-defense" can be prohibited. 

In a nutshell, the punishment, as per the law on affray in Alaska, that is awarded to a defendant who is found guilty and who is convicted of having committed a crime of affray will be in accordance with statutes that govern common law crimes. The more serious are the injuries inflicted on a person, the more severe will be the punishment. 

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