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What constitutes domestic assault in Tennessee?

It is normal for family members or romantic partners in Tennessee to argue occasionally, even if they love each other. When disagreements arise, oftentimes people are able to talk it out without further incident. However, sometimes an argument becomes so heated that one side or the other starts making accusations of domestic violence. This is a very serious situation.

Per Tennessee law, domestic assault involves an intentional or reckless act that injures another or that leads another to believe they will be injured or offensively touched. To constitute domestic assault, the crime must be committed against either a current or former spouse, people who live in the same household together, romantic or sexual partners, relatives -- including in-laws or former in-laws -- or children of any of the aforementioned persons.

The penalties for being convicted of domestic assault are very serious and could have a major impact on a person's life. A person convicted of domestic assault may lose their right to own a gun. A violation of this type order is a Class A misdemeanor, which could lead to a $200 fine. In addition, a person convicted of domestic assault may have to serve a jail sentence of as many as eleven months and 29 days. They could also be fined as much as $2,500.

Many times, when police are called to an alleged domestic violence scene, it boils down to a misunderstanding. However, this doesn't mean a person will not be charged with domestic assault. In order to fight such charges, a person should understand the laws regarding domestic violence in Tennessee, including any defenses, such as self-defense, that may be available to bolster their case.

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Mathis, Bates & Klinghard PLLC
412 Franklin Street
Clarksville, TN 37040

Phone: 931-444-3153
Fax: 931-278-6642
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