Being accused of domestic violence is a serious issue. The police do not take allegations of lightly. If you find yourself being booked into a local police station for charges of domestic assault, it’s important to understand your rights. As with any type of crime, you should consult a Franklin criminal defense attorney before sharing your side of the story with anyone.

Understanding the domestic assault charges against you

Tennessee defines domestic assault as an act of assault against:

  • Adults or minors who are current or former spouses;
  • Adults or minors who live together or who have lived together;
  • Adults or minors who are dating or who have dated or who have or had a sexual relationship, but does not include fraternization between two (2) individuals in a business or social context;
  • Adults or minors related by blood or adoption;
  • Adults or minors who are related or were formerly related by marriage; or
  • Adult or minor children of a person in a relationship that is described in subdivisions (a)(1)-(5).

Depending on the exact nature of the accusations, as well as any prior criminal convictions, a person charged with domestic assault may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, and could lose certain rights, including the right to carry a firearm.

Penalties for domestic violence in Tennessee

If you are convicted of domestic violence in Tennessee you face the following penalties:

  • Class A misdemeanor: no more than 11 months, 29 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500
  • Class B misdemeanor: no more than six months in jail and a fine of $500
  • If convicted a second time, you face a fine ranging from $350 to $3,500 and 30 days to 11 months, 29 days in jail
  • If convicted a third or subsequent time, you face a fine ranging from $1,100 to $5,000 and 90 days to 11 months, 29 days in jail

Know that you may also be charged with additional crimes, including sexual offenses or violation of a protection order or restraining order (if applicable), or enhancements related to your charges. If so, the penalties you face can be more severe.

Defenses to Franklin domestic assault charges

There are defenses your attorney can use to fight the domestic violence charges levied against you. These possible defenses include the following:

  • The actions you took in the incident were self-defense.
  • The incident in question never took place.
  • You do not have any knowledge of the incident.
  • The injuries sustained by the victim were unrelated to the alleged incident.

It is always in your best interest to speak with an experienced attorney when facing domestic violence charges. This is not the time to try to represent yourself.

Have you been charged with domestic assault in Tennessee? Do not speak to the police or the prosecutor about the incident in question until you first speak with a Franklin criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates at 615-977-9370 or complete a contact form to schedule a consultation. We operate offices in Franklin, Columbia, and Brentwood to better serve our clients.