affray (<<schwa>>-fray). The fighting, by mutual consent, of two or more persons in some
public place, to the terror of onlookers. • The fighting must be mutual. If one person unlawfully
attacks another who resorts to self-defense, the first is guilty of assault and battery, but there is no
affray. — Also termed fray. Cf. RIOT; un-lawful assembly under ASSEMBLY; ROUT. [Cases:
Criminal Law 45.15. C.J.S. Affray §§ 2–3, 5, 7, 13, 20.]
“An affray differs from a riot, a rout, or an unlawful assembly in that an affray is not
premeditated and in order to constitute a riot, a rout, or an unlawful assembly at least three
participants are essential, while … an affray may be committed by only two. Moreover, an affray is
more of a private nature than a riot.” 2A C.J.S. Affray § 3, at 519 (1972).
“The word ‘affray’ comes from the same source as the word ‘afraid,’ and the tendency to
alarm the community is the very essence of this offense.” Rollin M. Perkins & Ronald N. Boyce,
Criminal Law 479 (3d ed. 1982).
casual affray.See CHANCE-MEDLEY.
mutual affray.See MUTUAL COMBAT. [Blacks Law 8th]