What is Domestic Violence in Tennessee?
Domestic violence can involve a wide range of actions, including discharging a firearm, harassment, defacing marital property, stalking, violating an Order of Protection, or emotional/verbal abuse. Prosecutors take these allegations very seriously, regardless of the action.
Domestic assault in Tennessee is an assault against a victim who is a family or household member including:
- a current or former spouse of the offender
- person with whom the offender resides or previously resided
- person who the offender is dating or previously dated or someone with whom the offender has or previously had a sexual relationship
- someone with whom the offender is related by blood or adoption
- a person with whom the offender is or was related by marriage, and
- an adult or minor child of the offender or a family or household member.
What are the penalties?
If convicted, a domestic violence charge can result in a jail sentence, fines, and a mark on your permanent criminal record.
In addition to these penalties, you may also be ordered by a judge to take a batterer’s intervention program. If convicted of domestic violence, you will not be allowed to possess or own a firearm.
Assault is a Class A or Class B misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and/or a fine up $2500. A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine up to $500.
Aggravated assault is a Class C or Class D felony depending on the circumstances – for instance, whether the assault was reckless or intentional. A Class C felony is punishable by 3 to 15 years in prison and a fine of up $10,000. A Class D felony is punishable by 2 to 12 years in prison and a fine of up to $5000.
A person convicted of domestic assault in Tennessee may be required to pay restitution.
Call us for help
A conviction for domestic assault becomes a part of your permanent criminal record. If you are convicted of another crime later on, the court can consider your prior conviction and could then impose a harsher sentence in your new case. A convicted felon loses the right to vote and can lose certain professional licenses as well. A conviction for domestic assault – even a misdemeanor – can damage your reputation when you are looking for a job or applying to rent a home.
Call us today – we are committed to hearing your side of the story and protecting your rights, reputation, and future.