Published On: Mon, Aug 13th, 2018

Is a Domestic Assault a Felony in Tennessee?

Barring aggravating circumstances, Domestic Violence is considered a form of assault by the law, which classifies it as a misdemeanor in the state of Tennessee. Like other assault crimes in Tennessee, it is either a Class A or Class B misdemeanor. Regardless of the class, if the police come into a situation and find signs of injury or assault, then they will usually make an arrest. These arrests will go on your record and if you do not call in a domestic assault lawyer, then the resulting legal problems will only grow worse.

Madison County, Tennessee/David Benbennick


Domestic assault is classified as the intentional or reckless endangerment of someone else in your household. It is domestic assault if the other party is a:

  • Current or Former Spouse
  • Cohabitant
  • Dating or Sexual Partner
  • Blood or Adoptive Relative
  • Current or Former In-Law

Accused abusers become charged with any other crimes against the past or current partners and family members.

Consequences of a Domestic Violence Arrest

After being arrested for domestic violence, you cannot just pay bail and leave with no consequences. The person the police deem as the “primary aggressor” is jailed for a minimum period of twelve hours. Even if you can pay bail right away, the police will keep you in custody in order to prevent any immediate violence after your release. Even if there is no threat of further violence, the cool down period is enforced, and you are stuck in jail.

Once the time period ends, release comes with a series of conditions, depending largely on the law officer’s recommendations on the matter. The conditions may involve restraining orders or GPS monitoring. Regardless, if you decide to break the conditions, you could be taken back to jail. Breaking the conditions can adversely affect you in court, which is a different process in domestic violence cases.

Tennessee domestic violence cases are mandated by a unique set of procedures, special courtrooms, prosecutorial units, judges, and policies. The punishments may also be unique, like anger management programs and other mandated support groups. Domestic violence is also the only crime that’s classified as a misdemeanor that bans you from ever owning a firearm again. In the state of Tennessee, you cannot expunge any record of domestic violence from your criminal history. If you are convicted, then it follows you for life.

For these reasons, domestic violence charges are particularly serious and include significant consequences aside from being charged. Unfortunately, many innocent people who may actually be victims themselves suffer from the consequences and conditions of an arrest. If you have been charged with a domestic violence offense, it is important to contact an attorney immediately to help navigate this complex situation.

Hire an Attorney in your Area

Domestic violence charges are serious, and can lead to possible jail time and thousands of dollars in fines. The mark on your record also make it difficult to leave a good impression with any potential employers with access to your records. All this makes it that much more important to hire a local Criminal Defense Attorney in Knoxville, TN to represent you. With a dedicated representative you stand a much better chance at fighting the charges and avoiding some of the harshest Tennessee legal punishments.

Author: Shirley Wilson

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