If you have charged with domestic assault in Tennessee, it is imperative that you take the allegations against you seriously. Not only could you be sentenced to a term of incarceration if convicted of domestic assault, but a conviction could lead to other consequences that could have a profound impact on your future. With that in mind, a Murfreesboro criminal defense lawyer at Bennett | Michael | Hornsby helps you to understand allegations of domestic assault in Tennessee.
What Is Domestic Assault?
Domestic assault, commonly referred to as “domestic violence,” is governed by §39-13-111 of the Tennessee Code which defines the offense as “an assault as defined in § 39-13-101 against a domestic abuse victim.” Assault, in turn, under Tennessee law is defined as any of the following:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another.
- Intentionally or knowingly causing another to reasonably fear imminent bodily injury.
- Intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact with another and a reasonable person would regard the contact as extremely offensive or provocative.
Who Can Be the Alleged Victim of Domestic Assault?
When most people think of domestic assault, they imagine the victim to be the spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend of the alleged perpetrator. While that is often the case, those are not the only people who fall under the category of “domestic abuse victim.” Tennessee law includes all the following within the definition of domestic abuse victim:
- Adults or minors who are current or former spouses.
- Adults or minors who live together or who have lived together.
- Adults or minors who are dating or who have dated or who have or had a sexual relationship but does not include fraternization between two (2) individuals in a business or social context.
- Adults or minors related by blood or adoption.
- Adults or minors who are related or were formerly related by marriage.
- The adult or minor children of a person in a relationship that is described above.
What Are the Potential Judicial Penalties for a Domestic Assault Conviction in Tennessee?
If you accept a guilty plea agreement or you are found guilty at trial, your sentence for domestic assault may include:
- First or second offense without injury. You will be charged with a Class A or B misdemeanor with a potential sentence of up to 11 months and 29 days in jail along with fines, court courts, and the possibility of time served on probation.
- Second offense with bodily injury. Punishable by a fine of $350 to $3,500 and confinement in the county jail or workhouse for not less than 30 consecutive days, nor more than 11 months and 29 days.
- Third or subsequent conviction with injury. Punishable by a fine of $1,100 to $5,000 and by confinement in the county jail or workhouse for not less than 90 consecutive days, nor 11 months and 29 days; however, you could be charged with a Class E felony that carries a mandatory minimum of 90 consecutive days of imprisonment.
- Firearms. In addition to imprisonment and/or fines, the judge is required to order that you:
- Terminate physical possession of all firearms in your possession within 48 hours of the conviction by any lawful means, such as transferring possession to a third party who is not prohibited from possessing firearms.
- Complete an affidavit of firearms dispossession form and return it to the court when all firearms have been lawfully dispossessed.
- Additional sentencing terms. The court may also order electronic monitoring and order you to pay an electronic monitoring fee. You may also be ordered to complete a drug or alcohol treatment program or available counseling programs that address violence and control issues including, but not limited to, a batterer’s intervention program that has been certified by the domestic violence state coordinating council.
- Day for Day Sentencing. Tennessee law directs that “A person convicted of a violation under this section shall be required to serve at least the minimum sentence day for day. All persons sentenced under this section shall, in addition to service of at least the minimum sentence, be required to serve the difference between the time actually served and the maximum sentence on supervised probation.”
Contact a Murfreesboro Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with domestic assault in Tennessee, consult with an experienced Murfreesboro criminal defense lawyer at Bennett | Michael | Hornsby as soon as possible. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your free appointment.
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