Prison Sentence Duration for Affray Offences

Prison Info

Affray is a serious offence in the UK. The legal definition of affray, under the Public Order Act 1986, implies the use of or threat of unlawful violence towards another such that a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene would fear for his or her personal safety. This page serves to provide information on the prison sentence durations assigned for affray offences on conviction.

Possible Sentence Duration

Affray, being a public order offence, often carries with it considerable penalties on conviction. If a conviction is made in a Magistrates’ Court, the maximum prison sentence that can be doled out is 6 months. If the case goes to the Crown Court, though, the prison sentence can be up to 3 years.

Factors Affecting Sentence Duration

It is important to note, however, that not all affray offences are judged equally. Several factors can influence the prison sentence duration you may receive.

  1. Seriousness of the Offence: This is one of the key factors that judges consider when reviewing affray charges. The use of weapons, the intent to cause harm or injury, and the level of violence used will typically lead to longer sentences.
  2. Prior Convictions: If you have been convicted of any similar offences in the past, your sentence duration could potentially be increased.
  3. Guilty Plea: If you plead guilty to the charges, it may result in a reduced sentence.
  4. Mitigating Factors: There are certain factors, like provocation or acting under duress, that can qualify as mitigating circumstances and lead to a reduced sentence.

Post-trial Expectations

Following a conviction, you can expect to serve at least half of your prison sentence in custody. The rest of the sentence can be served out in the community, under the supervision of the Probation Service.


In overview, affray offences tend to be heavily punished by UK law. Depending on the circumstances of the offence, you can be looking at 6 months to 3 years of imprisonment if you’re convicted. Typically, the severity of the offence, your past record, how you plead, and any mitigating factors will all influence the sentence you receive.


Please consult with a legal professional if you require more detailed advice related to an affray offence. The rules and regulation for affray offences discussed here are in accordance with UK law and can be subject to change without prior notice.

This page is a part of our wider effort to educate about the UK prison system. For more details about other offences and their corresponding sentences, feel free to explore the site more.

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