In the movies, when someone’s honor is at stake in a public place, the two characters inevitably come to blows. A chair gets broken; someone is struck by a lamp. In the end, one man (or woman) is left standing, and then he or she leaves said space to accomplish whatever mission is up next.
In real life, that’s not how it works at all.
Assault is a broad term, but Tennessee law breaks it down in multiple ways – reckless endangerment, violation of a restraining order, vehicular assault, etc. Today, we want to look at three specific charges -: simple assault, aggravated assault, and domestic assault.
Also called “simple assault,” an assault is committed when one person:
(1) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another;
(2) Intentionally or knowingly causes another to reasonably fear imminent bodily injury; or
(3) Intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another and a reasonable person would regard the contact as extremely offensive or provocative.
Aggravated assault occurs when one person intentionally, knowingly, and/or recklessly commits an assault, which:
(1) Results in serious bodily injury to another;
(2) Results in the death of another;
(3) Involved the use or display of a deadly weapon; or
(4) Involved strangulation or attempted strangulation.
Domestic assault involves perpetrators and victims living together under the same roof. A domestic abuse victim is defined as:
(1) Adults or minors who are current or former spouses;
(2) Adults or minors who live together or who have lived together;
(3) 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;
(4) Adults or minors related by blood or adoption;
(5) Adults or minors who are related or were formerly related by marriage; or
(6) Adult or minor children of a person in a relationship that is described [above]
Are the assault charges in Tennessee felonies or misdemeanors?
Whether you face a misdemeanor charge or a felony charge for the assault you committed depends on the type of assault you committed. If you committed assault or domestic assault, you face a misdemeanor charge. However, if you committed aggravated assault, you face a felony charge.
What are the penalties for committing assault?
Like all criminal offenses, there are penalties for committing assault. If you are convicted of committing assault, you face prison time and/or fines.
If you injured someone or threatened to do so in the course of committing simple assault, you are charged with a Class A Misdemeanor. As a result, you will spend no more than eleven months and 29 days in jail and/or face a fine of $2,500 or less. If you engaged in highly offensive or aggressive physical contact, you are charged with a Class B Misdemeanor. As a result, you will spend no more than six months in jail and/or face a fine of $500 or less.
If the act of aggravated assault you committed is a Class C Felony, you face three-to-fifteen-years’ worth of prison time and a fine of $10,000 or less. If the act of aggravated assault you committed is a Class D Felony, you face two-to-twelve-years’ worth of prison time and a fine of $5000 or less.
Fighting may seem “cool” in television shows or other acts of entertainment, but assaulting someone is illegal in Tennessee. You face some serious penalties, and you’re definitely going to want a lawyer to help you fight those charges. If you’re in the Knoxville area, you want a criminal defense lawyer from Banks and Jones. We’re known for taking on the tough cases, and we can help you.
At Banks and Jones, our Knoxville assault defense lawyers know how to build a winning strategy. Please call 865-407-2122 or fill out our contact our firm to speak with one of the experienced attorneys at our office. Fight 2 Win!