THE BARNES & Fersten Aggravated Domestic Assault Lawyers in TN

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Assault is a common he said versus she said crime in Tennessee where an individual can call the police to accuse you of assault and you may be arrested even with no physical evidence such as actual bodily injuries, bruises, or scratches. Unfortunately, we see this occur far too often. If not represented properly, these charges may result in long lasting effects on your record.

Our Knoxville criminal defense lawyers have a history of defending clients charges with these charges and getting the charges dismissed and/or reduced through negotiations, hearings and jury trials. Our attorneys will listen to the details of what occurred intently because every detail of your relationship with the individual alleging assault, as well as the days leading up to the alleged assault is important to potentially argue self-defense or explain the circumstances to the prosecutor because the circumstances that led to any type of altercation is often critical to getting assault charges resolved. 

Just because you are charged with assault does not mean that you will be convicted of assault. Barnes & Fersten attorneys have a track record of successfully defending clients who face assault, domestic assault and aggravated assault charges including dismissals and favorable plea agreements. Police officers and prosecutors routinely overcharge individuals with aggravated assault and lawyers do not challenge every aspect of the charge to prove that even if committed as alleged, the charge would not qualify as aggravated assault. As you can see below, our attorneys review every aspect of the case including the victim’s medical records to attack aggravated assault allegations because far too often the State alleges “bodily injuries” as “serious bodily injuries” when it is not the case. 

What is the difference between assault, and aggravated assault in TN?

While there are similarities, the crimes of simple, or misdemeanor assault, and aggravated assault have significant differences. 

Simple Assault

Simple, or misdemeanor, assault can be committed in three distinct ways: (1) by causing someone bodily injury, (2) by making someone reasonably fear bodily injury, or (3) causing physical contact with someone that is "extremely offensive or provocative." Versions 1 and 2 are class A misdemeanors, punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail or the same period of probation. Version 3 is a class be misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault is a simple assault but with one of the following: (1) serious bodily injury, as defined in the statute, (2) the use or display of a deadly weapon, or (3) involved strangulation or attempted strangulation. Aggravated assault is punished as a B, C, or D felony, depending on the facts charged. This means the punishment range is 2-30 years, again depending on which version is charged and whether the defendant has certain prior convictions.

Assault on a First Responder

First responders in Tennessee include law enforcement, firefighters, TWRA officers, park rangers, and nurses. Assaults and aggravated assaults on these individuals can be committed the same way, but carry additional penalties. For a misdemeanor assault on a first responder there is a 30 day mandatory minimum jail term. For a felony, that mandatory minimum increases to 90 days. There are also increased mandatory minimum fines imposed.

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Are Assault Charges Judicial Diversion Eligible?

Assault and domestic assault are both eligible for something known as judicial diversion. An aggravated assault is as well, except under certain conditions. Judicial diversion is where you technically plead guilty, but the guilty plea is never entered against you. If you follow all the terms of your probation and do not pick up new charges your charge will be eligible for dismissal and expungement at the end of your case. If the charge is dismissed and expunged, there will be no public record of your charge and you will not have ever been convicted.

Whether or not to consider entering in to a diversion is a something that is specific to each case and each set of facts. In some cases a diversion is a great result, in others it’s not so great, and in some it is never even possible. However, the possibility of diversion is something you will want to speak with you lawyer about given the particulars of your specific case. 

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What’s next

At this point, hopefully you have a good idea of what assault and aggravated assault cases entail. I hope you’ll give me a call if you have questions about your case and if you’d like to see if working with Barnes and Fersten is right for you. (865) 805-703.

You can also check out some of our other articles that address specific aspects that come up in many DUI cases from the sidebar at your right or at the top of this page.