In Jacksonville, there is a crime called Affray. This municipal ordinance code violation is commonly referred to as “fighting”. It is illegal to engage in a fight or mutual combat with another person in a public place, with exceptions for boxing or wrestling. This municipal code violation can be found in Jacksonville Municipal Code Section 614.123.
As a Jacksonville Fighting Attorney, I have represented many citizens of Jacksonville who have been arrested and charged with Affray. The arrests usually are made in a bar or nightclub setting by officers who are paid by the establishment while working off-duty. The main witnesses usually used by the state attorney’s office are the bouncers or security officers at the establishment and the police officers themselves.
We also see this charge when clients are arrested for domestic battery in Jacksonville. After a client is arrested for domestic battery in Duval County, the assistant state attorney assigned to the case will contact the alleged victim and any witnesses. If the alleged victim, usually a “significant other” to the suspect, does not want to prosecute the case, the assistant state attorney will either dismiss the case completely or reduce the domestic battery charge to an affray or fighting code violation. If this is the first time the client has been arrested and they enter a plea to the fighting charge, they can usually get their record sealed or expunged in Florida.
If you have been arrested for affray or fighting, it is important to discuss the matter with a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney. Even though this crime is a municipal code violation, it can still be considered a “violent” crime and can impair your ability to gain employment in the future.