In Tennessee, assault charges are not taken lightly. They are considered violent charges and often carry hefty penalties. Whether you got into a fight with someone or even if you were protecting yourself, you can face these charges, fairly or unfairly.
When looking at a potential prison sentence, you need to put your confidence in a local criminal defense attorney.
Tennessee Assault Laws & Penalties
In order to face a general assault charge in Tennessee the prosecution likely believes you did one of the following:
- Intentionally or knowingly caused physical contact with someone that they would regard as offensive or provocative,
- Intentionally or knowingly caused another to reasonably fear imminent injury, or
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to someone.
Generally, assault is considered a Class A misdemeanor which carries a potential 1 year prison sentence and fines reaching $2,500.
Ref: TCA 39-13-101
Aggravated Assault is the more serious of assault crimes and it involves assaults where:
- Serious bodily injury occurs, or
- The assault is committed with a deadly weapon.
If the prosecution can prove that you acted intentionally, meaning you meant to commit the assault and cause harm, you can face a Class C felony and 3 to 15 years in prison.
If the assault was considered “reckless” rather than intentional, it is normally charges as a Class D felony, which carries 2 to 12 years in prison.
Ref: TCA 39-13-102
Reckless Endangerment Laws
Related to assault, reckless endangerment occurs when you engage in conduct that could place someone in danger of serious bodily harm or death.
Generally, this offense is considered a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and fines.
But, if the reckless endangerment occurs with the use of a deadly weapon, you will face Class E felony charges and a sentence of 1 to 6 years behind bars.
Ref: TCA 39-13-103
It’s easy to see how serious these charges are. Whether it’s a misdemeanor or felony, you could be doing jail time and you could have a permanent criminal record afterwards.
If you’re facing assault or reckless endangerment charges in the state of Tennessee, please contact us for a legal defense case evaluation.