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Understanding Assault Charges in Tennessee

In Tennessee, assault charges fall into two main categories: simple assault and aggravated assault. Knowing the difference between these charges is crucial if you find yourself facing assault allegations.

Simple Assaults in Tennessee

Defined under Tennessee Code § 39-13-101, simple assaults involve actions that cause bodily harm, instill fear of bodily harm, or create offensive physical contact. Typically misdemeanors, these charges carry penalties ranging from Class A to Class B misdemeanors, depending on the severity of the offense.

Simple assaults are often the result of altercations that escalate unexpectedly. A heated argument or physical confrontation can quickly lead to charges if someone feels threatened or harmed. Minor injuries like cuts, scrapes, or bruises are common outcomes of simple assaults.

Penalties for Simple Assaults

  • Class A Misdemeanor: Up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, and/or a fine up to $2,500.
  • Class B Misdemeanor: Up to 6 months in jail, and/or a fine up to $500.

Aggravated Assaults in Tennessee

Under Tennessee law § 39-13-102, aggravated assaults involve more severe actions, such as causing serious bodily harm, using a deadly weapon, or acts of strangulation. These felonies carry harsher penalties, ranging from Class C to Class D felonies.
Aggravated assaults often result from intentional acts of violence or situations where deadly force is used. The presence of weapons or the severity of injuries elevates the charges to aggravated assault. Broken bones, severe lacerations, or injuries requiring hospitalization are common in aggravated assault cases.

Penalties for Aggravated Assaults:

  • Class C Felony: Jail sentences from 3 to 15 years, and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • Class D Felony: Jail sentences from 2 to 12 years, and up to $5,000 in fines.

Aside from legal penalties, assault charges can lead to restraining orders, damage to reputation, and long-lasting consequences like difficulty in securing employment or housing. If you’re facing assault charges in Middle or East Tennessee, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney by your side. At Knox Defense, our attorneys are dedicated to protecting your rights and securing the best possible outcome for your case.

Don’t face assault charges alone. Call Knox Defense at (865) 269-9926 for a confidential consultation or complete our online form. We’re here to provide the strong defense you need.