From a young age, most people are taught to keep their hands to themselves and not to touch others who do not want to be touched. However, sometimes emotions boil over and kids end up in fights. When the children involved in these incidences are young, parents or a school will usually handle discipline, but as one gets older, the police and the criminal justice system step in and punish the wrongdoer.
As an adult, when one hits another it is called an assault, and the punishment for this crime depends on whether it is deemed a simple assault or an aggravated assault. An assault is simply defined as intentionally or recklessly causing bodily harm to another or causing fear of bodily harm. A simple assault is considered a misdemeanor. However, the charges and potential punishments are much worse when an offense is deemed an aggravated assault.
Aggravated assault is an intentional or reckless assault which results in serious bodily injury to another, results in the death of another, involved a deadly weapon, or involved strangulation or attempted strangulation. If a person commits an aggravated assault, then they could be charged with a Class C or Class D felony, depending on whether the act was intentional or reckless.
However, simply being charged does not mean that a person is in fact guilty of the crime. When criminal charges are filed, the burden rests on the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person in fact committed an aggravated assault. This is not an easy task, especially when an accused individual puts forth a strong criminal defense.
There are many people who are charged with assaults and other crimes in Tennessee each year. Each one of these individuals are innocent until proven guilty. Oftentimes, there are a number of criminal defenses available to them. It is important to understand these defense options, though, which is why it may be crucial to discuss the matter with an experienced attorney who may be able to help protect one’s rights.
Source: FindLaw, “Tennessee Code Title 39. Criminal Offenses § 39-13-102,” accessed on Jan. 15, 2018