Why you need skilled legal help if charged with domestic assault

On Behalf of | Jun 29, 2023 | Criminal Defense

If someone’s romantic partner or their neighbor calls the police during an argument, an arrest might lead to domestic assault charges. Those accused of engaging in interpersonal violence against someone who lives in the same home as them or with whom they share a romantic relationship may end up accused of domestic assault in a situation where both parties may have done something inappropriate or aggressive.

Sometimes, because Tennessee typically prosecutes such cases as misdemeanors, people don’t take these charges as seriously as they should. In truth, anyone accused of domestic assault would likely benefit from discussing defense options with a lawyer as soon as possible after their arrest.

Misdemeanor charges can result in serious penalties

Even though domestic assault is often a misdemeanor offense, it will lead to significant penalties determined by the judge overseeing the case and also a long-term criminal record. The state will charge someone with a Class A or Class B misdemeanor for domestic assault. Depending on what kind of charges the prosecutor pursues, the penalties could include up to 11 months and 29 days in state custody and fines of up to $2,500.

A criminal record can be as concerning as the penalties imposed by the courts, as the social stigma associated with domestic violence can be rather intense. Future landlords and employers, as well as educational institutions, may decline to extend an opportunity to someone convicted of a domestic assault offense. In some cases, people will lose their jobs over a guilty plea or conviction. They may also face estrangement from their families, their faith community and their neighbors because of the stigma that comes with a domestic assault charge.

Thankfully, there are often several viable defense strategies possible when the state accuses someone of domestic assault. Showing that someone acted in self-defense or that police officers misinterpreted the situation, for example, might help someone avoid a conviction.

Therefore, those arrested and arraigned for domestic assault may need to review their situation with a lawyer to plan a viable defense strategy. Reviewing the situation that led to someone’s arrest with an attorney familiar with domestic assault cases in Tennessee may help someone avoid what could be a life-altering criminal conviction.


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