The Hurricane, a WWE wrestler whose real name is Gregory Shane Helms, was involved in a bar fight in Smithfield after another man touched his girlfriend. Both men were cited for simple affray, and ordered to appear in court.
When police are called in to deal with a bar fight, they often arrive at a chaotic scene, and it can be difficult to establish whether you were an aggressor, a bystander or were simply attempting to restore order. An attempt at peacemaking may be construed as participating in the brawl, and you could end up facing a criminal charge.
What is simple affray?
In a typical bar fight, the parties usually face charges for a simple affray, which is the offense of two or more people fighting in public without weapons. Under North Carolina law, this is a Class 2 misdemeanor, which carries a potential penalty of up to 30 days community punishment for a first offense.
Could I be charged for simple affray for trying to break up the fight?
You can be charged for simple affray if you participate in the fight. Depending on the circumstances, trying to break it up can appear as if you participated in the fight, particularly if you used force in an attempt to restrain one of the fighting parties. Even if you did not use force, there is a concern that a witness or police officer could misinterpret your actions and believe you to be participating in the fight.
A conviction for simple affray leaves a permanent mark on your criminal record, and can have numerous negative consequences.
Posted in Criminal Defense | Tagged criminal defense attorney, Raleigh lawyer, simple affray |