The state of Tennessee takes the crime of assault extremely seriously. An assault conviction can follow you for the rest of your life, with a criminal record that could prevent you from gainful employment, renting or buying a home, and other negative consequences. If you’ve been arrested for assault, it’s important to understand the charges against you.

What are the different types of assault charges?

Assault is a broad term; however, there is more than one type of assault according to Tennessee state law. In fact, there are three main types of assault with which you can be charged – simple assault, aggravated assault, and domestic assault.

Also just called assault, simple assault is committed when a person:

  • Knowingly, purposefully, or thoughtlessly injures another person
  • Puts another person in fear of immediate danger
  • Initiates or engages in physical contact, which a reasonable person would deem highly offensive or aggressive

A person commits aggravated assault when they:

  • Knowingly, purposefully, or thoughtlessly inflicts significant physical injuries upon another person
  • Attempts to strangulate another person
  • Uses a deadly weapon, such as a gun or knife, while attacking another person

Moreover, if parents or legal guardians fail to stop aggravated assault or abuse from befalling their children and/or other adults, the parents or legal guardians themselves can face aggravated assault charges.

Domestic assault holds the same penalties as simple or aggravated assault – but a conviction of domestic assault has the added consequence of the loss of the right to own a firearm.

Are 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. Typically, simple assault is a misdemeanor and aggravated assault is a felony. However, depending on the circumstances, experienced attorneys may be able to plead down your charges.

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 could face prison time and/or fines.

If you injured someone or threatened to do so in the course of committing simple assault, you can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. Conviction can result in up to a year in jail and fines of up to 2,500 dollars. If you engaged in highly offensive or aggressive physical contact, you may be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. Conviction can result in up to six months in jail and fines of up to 500 dollars.

Convictions for Class C felony assault can lead to three to 15 years in jail and fines of up to 10,000 dollars. Class D felony assault convictions result in two to 12 years in jail and up to 5,000 dollars in fines.

If you or a family member is charged with simple assault, aggravated assault, domestic assault or any other type of criminal offense, the Knoxville criminal defense attorneys at Banks & Jones are here to help. We provide professional and experienced representation. To schedule an appointment, call us at 865-407-2122 or fill out our contact form.