In Tennessee, there are two basic types of assault charges: simple assault and aggravated assault. Aggravated assault can be charged as intentional aggravated assault or reckless aggravated assault. The main difference between simple assault and aggravated assault is the severity of the victim’s injuries or whether the assault included a deadly weapon. The main difference between the two types of aggravated assault is whether the perpetrator committed the action intentionally or whether it was due to reckless behavior.
It is important to understand what specific assault charges you are facing so that you can choose an appropriate defense strategy. Contact our firm to speak to a criminal defense attorney who can provide more information.
Is Assault a Felony or Misdemeanor?
Assault charges can be either felony charges or misdemeanor charges. Simple assault is a misdemeanor, and it carries a possible sentence of up to 1 year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. Aggravated assault charges are felonies. Intentional aggravated assault is a Class C felony, and reckless aggravated assault is a Class D felony. These charges carry possible prison sentences ranging from 2 years to 15 years.
What If I Was Acting in Self-Defense?
Acting in self-defense is a valid legal reason not to be held criminally liable for actions that led to assault charges. However, you can’t just claim self-defense. You also have to be able to present a compelling argument that you had a clear reason to fear for your immediate safety and acted with the force necessary to protect yourself or your property. Depending on the circumstances, it’s also possible to argue that you were acting in defense of others.
Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me?
If you are charged with any crime, the first person you should talk to should be a criminal defense attorney. However, this is especially important for assault charges. These situations are often complex, and the nuances involved can be important strategy points for your defense. Getting a criminal defense attorney involved as soon as possible can help you prepare an adequate defense and explore other strategies, such as pleading to lesser charges.
Assault charges fall under the category of violent crimes, which makes them serious criminal matters that should not be dealt with lightly. Help protect your future and ensure someone is looking out for your rights by calling our law firm at 931-236-2711. Our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys can talk with you about your case and ensure you understand what to expect as you go through the court system. We also offer free consultations to help you get started.