Being charged with assault in Knoxville is a serious matter regardless of whether you are charged with simple assault or aggravated assault. An experienced criminal defense attorney can make the difference in whether you get the result you want. The prosecutors handling your Knoxville assault case will aggressively argue your guilt and they will use all of the resources available to their office to ensure that the judge and jury find you guilty of the assault charges. The prosecutors will then request the maximum sentence under the law be imposed as your punishment for assault.
You need a criminal defense law firm with experience defending assault charges in Knoxville, Tennessee. Contact the criminal defense attorneys of Hodges Doughty & Carson at 865-292-2307 as soon as possible. A strong defense strategy depends heavily on an immediate and thorough investigation surrounding the circumstances leading up to your assault charges. The more time our attorneys have to work on your case, the better chance we have of helping you receive the positive outcome that you desire.
What are Assault Charges in Tennessee?
You can be charged with a felony assault or misdemeanor assault depending on the circumstances surrounding the assault allegation. A conviction of assault has the potential of effecting the rest of your life by limiting your ability to own and carry a firearm, limiting potential job opportunities, and limiting where you can live. In the case of sexual assault, you may be required to register on the sex offender list. A skilled and knowledgeable assault defense attorney can help mitigate the potential damages of an assault conviction.
What is the Difference Between Assault and Aggravated Assault?
Assault and aggravated assault are defined under Tennessee Code Annotated §39-13-101 and 39-13-102. To be charged and convicted of assault in Tennessee, the state must prove that you have committed one of the following offenses against another person:
- You knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly caused bodily harm to another person;
- You knowingly or intentionally caused another person to reasonably fear that person is in danger of imminent bodily injury; or,
- You knowingly or intentionally caused contact with another person that would be considered extremely provocative or offensive by a reasonable person.
According to the law, the charge of assault increases to aggravated assault if you:
- Cause serious bodily injury to the other person;
- Use or display a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault;
- Intend to or attempt to cause the bodily harm by strangulation;
- Fail to protect an adult or child that you are the parent or guardian of from aggravated assault by another person; or,
- Attempt to commit or commit an assault in violation of probation, diversion, or a court order.
What is Domestic Assault?
Domestic violence is a form of assault in Tennessee; however, it is more narrowly defined by the victim of the assault.
Domestic assault is defined in Tennessee Code Annotated §39-13-111 as committing the same acts above but the victim is a family member or household member. The law defines family member or household member as any of the following persons:
- Former spouses
- Any person related to you by blood or marriage
- Any person who currently resides in your home or has resided in your home in the past
- Any person with whom you share a child or children with regardless of whether you have ever been married to that person or resided with that person in the past
Penalties for Assault in Knoxville, TN
If you are charged with simple assault in Tennessee, you are facing a Class A Misdemeanor. Conviction of a Class A Misdemeanor assault charge can carry up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
Aggravated assault is a felony and carries the potential for much more severe penalties if convicted. Depending on the circumstances, you can be charged with aggravated assault as a Class C Felony or a Class D Felony.
If the assault was the result of intentional conduct or assault committed knowingly, the state will charge you with a Class C Felony. Potential penalties for a conviction include:
- Prison sentence between 3 and 15 years;
- Fines of up to $10,000; however, if the aggravated assault is against a law enforcement officer the maximum fine increases to $15,000; and,
- Court fees and costs.
If the assault was as the result of your reckless conduct, the state will charge you with a Class D Felony. Potential penalties for a conviction include:
- Prison sentence between 2 and 12 years;
- Fines of up to $5,000; however, if the aggravated assault is against a law enforcement officer the maximum fine increases to $15,000; and,
- Court fees and costs.
Most people understand that if they are convicted of a Knoxville aggravated assault charge they will face fines, probate, and possible jail time; however, there are other potential consequences of an assault conviction. In addition to the negative effects on your future due to a criminal record, if you are convicted of aggravated assault you may lose your ability to attend college, or another institution of higher learning, and you may lose any college scholarships that you received in order to pay for college.
Contact an Experienced Knoxville Assault Defense Attorney Immediately!
The Knoxville criminal defense attorneys of Hodges Doughty & Carson have extensive experience handling assault cases and they are very knowledgeable regarding Tennessee assault laws. We provide comprehensive legal representation to handle the most complex and difficult case efficiently and effectively for individuals who have been charged with assault in Knoxville, Chattanooga, and the Tri-Cities area.
Contact our office immediately! Hodges Doughty & Carson has an experienced and skillful team of legal professionals who understand how to investigate assault charges in order to develop the best legal strategy to have the charges dismissed, if possible, or to minimize the consequences of a conviction. We need to work quickly to identify and preserve key evidence to use in your defense. Some evidence can fade or disappear over time; therefore, we must interview witnesses as soon as possible and preserve evidence before it is destroyed or lost.
Contact our office today at 865-292-2307 for a confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights with an experienced Knoxville assault defense attorney. You are entitled to a fair and just trial in your criminal case.