In Tennessee, violent crimes such as assault and battery are taken seriously. They can carry penalties such as a prison sentence and fines. There are different types of assault that can lead to a misdemeanor or felony charge.

An assault can either be a misdemeanor or a felony in Tennessee. Generally, an assault is a felony if serious bodily injury occurs or if there is a use of a weapon. Bodily injury in Tennessee is defined as a cut, abrasion, bruise, burn or disfigurement and physical pain. Serious bodily injury involves a substantial risk of death, extreme physical pain, loss of consciousness, disfigurement or impairment of a bodily function. An assault that causes serious bodily injury or is committed with a deadly weapon is considered an aggravated assault.

Assault charges can bring serious penalties. If the assault was committed intentionally the defendant can be charged with a Class C felony and receive a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. A reckless assault can be charged as a Class D felony, punishable by up to 12 years in prison. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can prepare a defense to these serious charges and represent the accused in court. An attorney can make sure their client’s version of what happened is heard in court and that they receive a fair trial.

Assault charges are serious and can affect a person’s professional and personal reputation. It is important that a defendant knows that they have legal rights, including the right to an attorney.

Source: Tenn. Code. Ann § 39-13-101