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

Affray is a term used to refer to what is commonly known as a fight. The act should involve at least two persons and should take place at a public location. Also, it must scare the other folks in that public site to be recognized as an affray. Affray is basically an act of criminal offense, which could lead to the arrest of an offender and also make him/her face criminal charges. Many states refer to affray as disorderly conduct. The state of Ohio is one such state in the United States to do so.

What is prohibited in Ohio?

Ohio prohibits the following under its act for disorderly conduct:

1. Any individual cannot cause alarm, annoyance, or inconvenience recklessly by doing any one of the acts listed below:
  • Threatening to cause damage to a property or a person, engage in fighting, or in turbulent or violent behavior;
  • Insult, challenge, or taunt someone else under a circumstance wherein the conduct can trigger a violent response; 
  • Offensive and coarse utterance, making unreasonable sound, communicate, display, or gesture grossly and use undesirable abusive language for someone else;
Ohio Affray Law
  • Creating a condition, which is physically offensive for individuals or one that creates a chance of causing physical harm to property or persons by an act, which has no reasonable and lawful purpose of the accused; 
  • Preventing or obstructing the mobility of people on a public road, street, right-of-way, or highway or from, to, upon, or within any private or public property that can cause interference with the rights enjoyed by others, as well as, an act, which serves no reasonable and lawful purpose of the defendant. 
2. Any person shall not do any of the following acts while voluntarily intoxicated in Ohio:
  • Create a condition or engage in conduct, which manifests a chance of causing physical harm or bodily injury to either the offender or another person or to someone else's property;
  • Engage in an act when at least 2 persons are present or in a public site that has a possibility of causing inconvenience or be offensive, or cause alarm or fury to any individual having ordinary sensibilities that conduct the offender, when the latter was not intoxicated and should be ideally aware of the fact of such behavior to the others. 
Affray Law Ohio
  • In case the individual appears to be intoxicated to an ordinary onlooker, there are possible reasons to believe that the individual is intoxicated voluntarily;
  • Violate an ordinance or an act, which has a possibility of causing physical injury to either the offender or to someone else's property. 

Examples of violation

Some instances of violation of the act in Ohio are as follows:

  • The bluster having a potential to become an affray or an affray;
  • Participating in a noisy and loud party till the wee hours and thereby causing inconvenience to the neighbors; 
  • Showing a sign where a common 4-letter functional verb in English is used to explain what a person intends to indulge in with the rival team members at a match or a tournament;
  • Purposely making comments to antagonize their targets and retorting to a swing;
Affray Law
  • Relieving oneself at an unsuitable place or even bursting a cracker at a person's feet. 
  • An act of misconduct during an emergency
    when a person purposely obstructs an authorized person's lawful operations. These authorized people can be a police officer, a firefighter, and so on;
  • Does not obey a legal order issued by a cop at an emergency situation; or
  • Knowingly misbehaving at one of the emergency facilities to obstruct the lawful duties of a person in that emergency facility. 

Penalties in an affray in Ohio

If a person is convicted under the disorderly conduct laws of the state of Ohio, he/she can be put behind the bars or/and fine;

There is a maximum fine of 150 USD for such minor misdemeanor.

For 1st-degree misdemeanor: The convicted may have to spend a maximum prison time of 180 days and pay a maximum fine of 1,000 USD.

For 4th-degree misdemeanor:  The sentence can be jail time of up to thirty days or a maximum fine of 250 USD. 

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