Murfreesboro Domestic Violence Lawyers
A domestic violence charge puts your future at risk. A domestic violence conviction carries harsh and lasting consequences.
Domestic violence is a serious matter. Being charged with domestic violence will make you feel alone and condemned to an unknown future. The committed criminal defense attorneys at Kidwell, South, Beasley & Haley are not there to judge you. They are there to defend your legal rights and fight for you within every inch of the law.
What is domestic violence?
All criminal charges can be broken down to certain legal elements that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in order for a person to be found guilty of a particular crime. Here are the basics on how Tennessee defines domestic violence.
Domestic violence, or domestic assault, is defined by Tennessee as an assault committed against:
- A current or former spouse;
- People living together;
- A romantic partner (current or former);
- Family members (by blood or adoption); or
- Children of any of the above listed people.
An assault occurs when someone:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person;
- Causes another person to reasonably fear imminent bodily harm; or
- Causes physical contact with another that a reasonable person would find extremely provocative or offensive.
The assault rises to the level of aggravated assault if:
- The assault resulted in serious bodily injury;
- A deadly weapon was used in the assault;
- The intentional or knowing attempt to cause bodily harm was done by strangulation; or
- The intentional or knowing harm or attempt to harm was committed against another while the perpetrator was under an order or probation agreement prohibiting such actions.
What are the punishments if you are found guilty of domestic violence?
In Tennessee, assault is generally a Class A misdemeanor which carries a punishment of up to 1 year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. Aggravated assault, if the assault was intentional, is a Class C felony which means 3 to 15 years in prison. Aggravated assault, if the assault was reckless, is a Class D felony which means 2 to 12 years in prison.
Additionally, domestic violence offenders will permanently lose their right to carry a firearm and are required to pay a fine which is used to fund family violence shelters and shelter programs. You may also be required to pay restitution which reimburses the victim for any expenses incurred as a result of the crime. This can include medical expenses, counseling costs, and replacement or repair of damaged property.
Tennessee law also gives alternatives to jail or prison time for someone convicted of domestic assault. For example, judicial diversion occurs when the court postpones sentencing for a set amount of time. In the interim, the defendant is required to comply with probation and other detailed requirements such as completing a treatment program or community service. If all requirements are met, the defendant will be discharged and the case against them will be dismissed.
Another alternative is called a suspended sentence. This happens when the court sentences the defendant to jail or prison time, but allows them to serve all or part of that sentence on probation as opposed to in jail or prison. If the defendant fails to comply with all probationary requirements, they will be required to complete their sentence in jail or prison.
When it comes to something as serious as a domestic violence charge, take action now. Let our tenacious attorneys fight for you.
Domestic violence charges can end with some very serious consequences. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys at Kidwell, South, Beasley & Haley understand the gravity of a domestic violence charge and that is why they are committed to providing the best representation possible. Contact Kidwell, South, Beasley & Haley today online, or call 615-893-1331 to schedule a free consultation.