In Tennessee, a domestic assault is defined as an assault of a “member of your household.” A "family or household member" includes:
- spouse or former spouse;
- persons related by blood, marriage, or adoption (includes people formerly related by marriage);
- People who live together or have lived together (i.e. roommates);
- People who are dating;
- People who are in or have had a sexual relationship; and
- The children of a person in any of the above named relationships.
Nashville is famous for the Broadway bar scene, but this can spell trouble for some couples. Be it a brawl between two male roommates or even just a girlfriend slapping her boyfriend across the face: both seemingly insignificant events fall within the definition of domestic assault.
A conviction for domestic assault (even if it is your first conviction) carries serious consequences, which can include, but are not limited to:
- A year-long weekly batterer’s intervention program
- Forfeiture of firearms within 48 hours of conviction
- Losing the ability to purchase or possess firearms
- Having to stay away from the alleged victim, which could require you to move or change jobs
Additionally, the penalties for domestic assault increase with each conviction.
A first conviction for domestic assault is a Class A misdemeanor. This could carry up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, but is also eligible for divertible probation that can later be expunged. This is why it is important to have a dedicated lawyer working on your behalf from day one.
A second conviction for domestic assault with bodily injury is a Class A misdemeanor with a minimum jail sentence of 30 days and $350 fine. The judge may increase this fine up to $5,000.
A third conviction for domestic assault with bodily injury is a Class A misdemeanor with a minimum 90 days in jail and fine of $1,100. This fine may also be increased by the judge.
Domestic assault will be elevated to aggravated domestic assault if the assault results in death or serious bodily injury to the person or if a deadly weapon is used.Next Steps
If you are charged with domestic assault, contact the defense attorneys with Baker Associates immediately. Depending on the facts of your case, the first steps in our investigation may include:
- Interviewing the complaining witness,
- Interview other witnesses who were present,
- Obtain a transcript of the 911 call,
- Collect any photographs or videos,
- Review any medical records, and
- Review the social media posts that document or relate to the event.
The criminal defense attorneys at the Nashville and Sevierville law offices of Baker Associates understand the intense emotions surrounding these serious criminal charges. The key to employing powerful defense tactics is your phone call. The faster you contact us, the quicker we can begin our investigation into your case. Call us today at (615) 422-6790.