What is considered aggravated domestic assault in Tennessee?

What is considered aggravated domestic assault in Tennessee?

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2023 | Domestic Assault

Tennessee law establishes numerous different types of assaultive offenses. Simple assault is the most basic, and there are other, more serious forms of assault that result in different penalties than simple assault. Domestic assault generally carries significant consequences, even though an arrest might occur because of an altercation where everyone involved did something inappropriate.

The relationship between the person charged and the alleged victim is what What sets domestic assault apart from simple assault is the relationship between the parties involved. An incident that involves those who live together or people who are related by genetics or marriage would lead to domestic assault charges. Domestic assault is often a Class A misdemeanor, but occasionally the state will pursue felony aggravated domestic assault charges instead.

Certain actions can make the charges more serious

Aggravated domestic assault occurs when the situation is particularly dangerous for one of the parties involved. The state pursues aggravated charges when they are certain factors associated with increased risk of severe injury and homicide present. A scenario where an act of interpersonal violence that constitutes domestic assault results in a broken bone could lead to aggravated domestic assault charges under Tennessee law.

Additionally, the involvement of a weapon will often lead to aggravated charges as well. Simply brandishing a weapon can result in aggravated domestic assault charges, and the act of stabbing another person will lead to felony charges in most cases. Finally, scenarios in which one party chokes the other may lead to prosecutors pursuing aggravated assault charges in Tennessee. All of these acts have an association with escalating violence and increased risk of death for the other party involved in the incident, which is why the state may impose much more serious penalties even if the outcome wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

As a Class C felony, aggravated domestic assault carries significantly higher penalties than a simple domestic assault charge. While domestic assault might result in up to 11 months and 29 days in state custody and $2,500 in fines, aggravated domestic assaults could lead to 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Understanding when certain factors may increase the severity of the charges someone faces and the penalties the state may impose could help someone better plan for their defense after a domestic assault arrest.