Two Types of Assault Charges
Tennessee law addresses two types of assault:
1. General Assault
Assault is an attempt to injure someone or threaten to commit harmful behavior against another person. The offender tried to injure someone using violence or force. Although contact is not necessary for a charge, a conviction typically requires an act and not just a threat.
For instance, if a person hit another person, knocked them to the ground, and caused the victim to break a leg, the offender could be charged with assault. In this case, the person would face penalties such as:
- Charged with a misdemeanor
- Up to 1 year in prison
- Fine between $2500 and $15,000
2. Aggravated Assault
Aggravated assault differs from general assault in that the assailant disregarded the life of the victim. Meaning, they likely used a weapon or extreme force with the intent to kill the other person. The weapon used, the status of the victim, intent of the assailant, and the severity of the injury determines if a charge is elevated from general assault to aggravated assault.
An example of aggravated assault would be a person who shoots a person or threatens to shoot a person while pointing a gun at them. In this case, a person may face penalties such as:
- Charged with a felony
- Up to 15 years in prison
- Possible fines or parole
How an Assault Lawyer in Knoxville, Tennessee Can Help
For you to be convicted of assault in Tennessee, a prosecuting attorney must prove that you are guilty of the charges against you. We can help you with your case by providing a strategic defense with the goal of reducing your sentence or dismissing your case. Where you acted in self-defense or the inflicted injury was accidental and not intentional, we will fight to protect your rights
Other possible defenses that we will investigate include:
- The victim’s criminal record and history of violence
- An existing bias between you and the victim
- Whether the police and/or prosecution handled your case improperly
Being convicted of assault, even where it is classified as a misdemeanor, can have far-reaching effects such as your job, relationships, and renting qualifications. Don’t risk your future by fighting your charges alone. An experienced attorney can assess whether you have any grounds for dismissal, explore plea options, or represent you at trial.