Penalty for Assault in Tennessee
There are two types of assault (simple and aggravated), and those accused can face misdemeanor or felony charges. Depending on the severity, penalties can range from prison time to fines.
Simple assault is defined as knowingly or recklessly causing bodily harm to another person.
Simple assault can result in:
- a victim reasonably fearing imminent bodily injury; or
- physical contact with another person that would cause them to feel reasonably provoked.
This type of assault is a misdemeanor because it generally involves minor bodily injuries such as cuts, scrapes, or bruises.
Class A or B Misdemeanor
A simple assault can either be a Class A misdemeanor or a Class B misdemeanor. For an assault to be a Class A misdemeanor, the offender must have caused bodily injury or threatened the victim with immediate bodily harm. The punishments for Class A misdemeanors are up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, a fine up to $2,500, or both.
A Class B misdemeanor is physical contact that is offensive or provocative. The punishments for Class B misdemeanors are up to 6 months in jail, a fine up to $5,000, or both.
Someone convicted of simple assault may be required to pay restitution. Restitution involves reimbursing any victims for expenses resulting from the crime.
Aggravated assault is a felony with severe consequences.
To commit aggravated assault, a person must:
- knowingly or recklessly cause serious physical injury to another person;
- knowingly or intentionally attempt to cause physical injury;
- be a parent or guardian of a child or adult who refuses to protect the child or adult from an aggravated assault or child abuse;
- knowingly or intentionally cause or attempt to cause bodily injury to another person while under a legal order or agreement that prohibits such actions; and/or
- intentionally cause physical injury to a public employee while the person was performing their job.
Anyone who commits a simple assault while brandishing or using a deadly weapon will be charged with a felony aggravated assault.
A deadly weapon is any object that is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.
Deadly weapons include:
- hunting knives; or
- brass knuckles.
Any object that wasn’t manufactured with intent to cause bodily harm can be considered a deadly weapon if used against another person. For example, if an aggressor uses a rope to strangle another person.
There are two felony classes—Class C felony and Class D felony:
- The sentence for a Class C felony is 3 to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
- The sentence for a Class D felony is 2 to 12 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
Like a simple assault, a person may be required to pay restitution to a victim for expenses resulting from their crime.
Patton | Pittman Attorneys – Representation You Can Count On
If you have been arrested for assault and are looking for legal representation, look no further. Our attorneys will aggressively pursue the best outcome on your behalf.
Call our firm today at (931) 361-4477 or contact us online for a FREE consultation and learn more about the potential penalties for assault in Tennessee.