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Who can face domestic assault charges and how is it classified?

There is a natural stigma against those who are confronted with domestic assault charges in Tennessee. Because the penalties can go beyond having to deal with the legal system and evolve to involving the way a person is viewed, negatively affect their work situation and be a long-term problem, it is essential that anyone charged in a domestic incident understand how the charges can come about, how the penalties are classified and lodge a strong defense to rectify the situation as best as possible.

There are many people who can be considered victims in a domestic incident. They are the following: adults or minors who are current or former spouses; adults or minors who cohabitate or cohabitated in the past; adults or minors who have been dating, dated in the past or had a sexual relationship - this does not include two people in a business or social circumstance who fraternized; adults or minors who are related by blood or through adoption; adults or minors who are related or were previously related via marriage; adults or minor children of a person who is in a relationship in the above-listed circumstances.

Domestic assault will be charged if there is an intentional, knowing or reckless bodily injury caused to another person; if there is an intentional, knowing or reckless act that causes another to fear that bodily injury was imminent; or if there is an intentional, knowing physical contact that could reasonably be viewed as provocative or offensive. The first two charges here are Class A misdemeanors. The third is a Class B misdemeanor. Penalties can include a fine of up to $200 or will be based on the defendant's ability to pay. If the person convicted has firearms, it will be necessary to relinquish possession of these weapons.

Numerous situations can result in these charges. A conviction for domestic assault carries with it several penalties as well as the damaged reputation that can be difficult to undo. For those who are arrested on domestic assault charges, having legal help is one of the most important decisions in the case. Speaking to an attorney experienced in defending people for these charges is imperative.

Source:, "39-13-111 - Domestic Assault," accessed on May 15, 2017

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