You Should Have The Right Defense Against Assault Charges

Assault Offenses

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s publication on 2012 Crime Statistics reported that of the thirteen different types of crimes that fall under the "crimes against persons" offenses, the highest reported crimes were simple assault (56.96%) and aggravated assault (19.06%), making them the most common and most likely of crimes against persons charges to be brought up against an individual.

In Tennessee, offense levels for assault charges may range from misdemeanors to felonies resulting in penalties spanning a few days in jail or as much as fifteen years in prison and may include possible fines of up to $15,000. The offense level and consequent charges, penalties, and/or fines depend on a wide-range of factors including the relationship between the accused and the alleged victim, whom the offense was committed against, other charges associated with the alleged assault, aggravating factors, and the defendant’s criminal history.

Tennessee Code Annotated (T.C.A) § 39-13-10 defines Assault as the act of:

  • Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another;
  • Intentionally or knowingly causing another to reasonably fear imminent bodily injury; or
  • Intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact with another if a reasonable person would regard said contact as extremely offensive or provocative.

According to T.C.A. § 39-13-102, there are certain conditions that will result in Aggravated Assault charges.  These conditions include intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly committing an assault and said assault:

  • Results in serious bodily injury to another;
  • Results in the death of another;
  • Involves the use or display of a deadly weapon;
  • Intends to cause bodily injury by strangulation or bodily injury by strangulation was attempted

In addition to simple assault and aggravated assault charges, other "crimes against persons" charges include the following:

  • Reckless endangerment (T.C.A. § 39-13-103) – Committing an offense when recklessly engaging in conduct that places or may place another person in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury. Additional charges may result if the crime involved a deadly weapon or the discharging of a firearm.
  • Vehicular assault (T.C.A. §39-13-106) – Recklessly causing serious bodily injury to another person while operating a motor vehicle and while intoxicated. Intoxication includes the use or consumption of alcohol, drugs, or both.
  • Domestic assault (T.C.A. § 39-13-111) – Committing assault against a domestic abuse victim
  • Violation of an order of protection or restraining order (T.C.A. § 39-13-113) – Although orders of protection and restraining orders are civil matters, a violation of either may result in criminal charges.
  • Other offenses – Physical injury to victim (T.C.A. § 39-13-105) – In addition to the enumerated offenses above, crimes against the person shall be any violent offense that results or could have resulted in physical injury to the victim, including, but not limited to, rape, sexual battery and kidnapping.

Although assault charges are the most common "crimes against persons" offenses reported in Tennessee, they should not be taken lightly. Guilty outcomes can have long-lasting and far-reaching consequences; you may be at risk of losing certain rights including your freedom, the ability to contact your family and children, or access to your home or personal belongings. Additionally, a criminal record may impact your present and future employment opportunities and the ability to obtain a loan or higher education.

The criminal defense attorneys at The McKellar Law Firm are committed to the needs and rights of our clients. If you are facing assault charges, we can help you understand the full-extent of the allegations that have been brought against you. We will be your advocate and support you through the criminal and judicial process. Contact the Knoxville criminal defense attorneys at The McKellar Law Firm today at 865-566-0125.

Contact Our Firm

The criminal defense attorneys at McKellar & Easter, Attorneys at Law, are committed to the needs and rights of our clients. If you are facing assault charges, we can help you understand the full extent of the allegations brought against you. We will be your advocate and support you through the criminal and judicial process.

To schedule a free initial consultation with one of our lawyers, call 865-566-0125 or send us an email. Telephone consultations are available at any of our three offices: Knoxville, Tennessee; Nashville, Tennessee; and Atlanta, Georgia. We accept credit cards.