What is the Law on affray in Arizona and What are the Punishments for it?
It is quite evident that governments are making continuous efforts for widening the legal base for ensuring the safety of their citizens. Especially, in the USA, governments of the states take steps on a consistent basis for streamlining things in the legal arena. A classic example of this is that some of the states have completely rewritten criminal codes.
The aim of such efforts is to help citizens lead a peaceful life. Such efforts have certainly provided more clarity and are helping the legal fraternity as well as the courts in making the right decisions in convicting those who commit wrongs and acquit those who have not committed any wrongs.
One such crime is affray. Let us first find out what affray is. Let us further discuss affray laws in Arizona and the punishments that are awarded to those who are found guilty of having committed this crime and who are convicted.
The crime of affray explained
If a person fights another person or a few other people in public or in a place that can be accessed by the public and if his or her action causes fear in the mind of those who are present there, he or she is committing the crime of affray. The word "'Affray' is of French origin. The French word from which it has been derived is "effrayer," the meaning of which is "to affright."
As far as British law is concerned, affray is viewed seriously by the courts of the country. Apart from awarding imprisonment, British courts can levy an unlimited amount of fine as well.
Though the USA is among the Commonwealth countries that follow the British affray law to a large extent, a number of states of the USA have brought about appropriate amendments for making the law suitable for their states and for bestowing the best benefits on their citizens.
Law of affray in Arizona
A crime of affray is said to occur if a person unlawfully uses violence or threatens that he or she will use such violence and if this action is such that it creates fear in the mind of those who are present at the time of the action. Legally speaking, it is a crime that is in the form of a fight in which two or more than two people are involved. The crime has been put under the common law.
In other words, the offense of affray has not been given a specific place in the law books of the states of the USA. Whenever such a crime is purported to have happened and if the alleged perpetrator has been booked for the crime, it is for the prosecutor to prove if all the three elements of the crime constitute the incident. Only then, the prosecutor will be able to get the offender convicted. These are the three elements that have to be proved beyond doubt by the prosecutor.
- The incident has really happened which means the alleged offender has actually had a fight with one or more people.
- The incident should have happened in a place that does not restrict anyone from accessing. This means that the place should be an "open-for-public" place.
- On viewing the incident, people or at least one individual should have feared for his or her safety.
What is the punishment awarded to the convicted who has committed the crime of affray according to Arizona laws?
As per Arizona affray law, it is the seriousness of the criminal act of the alleged offender that is taken into consideration by the court for awarding punishment to him or her. This means that based on the criminal act, the court will decide on the appropriate punishment that has to be meted out to the defendant.
The main factor that prompts the courts to act like this is that the crime of affray is governed by the common laws on crimes. Simply put, there is no specific statute in the laws of Arizona or those of any other state that deals with this crime.
That is the reason the courts in the USA take a cue from the common practice or usage that is adopted by the "Commonwealth" member-countries. The severity of the punishments awarded to the convicted will depend on the seriousness of the injuries he or she has inflicted on another person.