Maryville Assault Attorneys
Aggressive defense of clients facing assault charges in Blount County and throughout East Tennessee
Being convicted of assault can have an impact on multiple aspects of your life. Aside from a criminal record due to a violent crime, you also face fines and possible imprisonment. Want to get a job or a new job? You might have trouble convincing companies to hire you. Your application to a college or university might also be denied due to your criminal record.
The criminal defense team at Shepherd & Long, P.C. has decades of experience fighting for the rights of those charged with violent crimes in the Maryville area and throughout East Tennessee. We understand that there’s a lot at stake when charged with assault and we are prepared to build a defense that is in your best interest.
Did you know?
There were 79,116 simple assaults and 31,505 aggravated assaults reported in Tennessee in 2019.
What is assault in Tennessee?
Under Tennessee Code 39-13-101, “A person commits assault who:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another;
- Intentionally or knowingly causes another to reasonably fear imminent bodily injury; or
- Intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another and a reasonable person would regard the contact as extremely offensive or provocative.
Assault is categorized as a Class A misdemeanor unless it occurred under the definition of section (a)(3). If so, the assault is then categorized as a Class B misdemeanor. If the assault is committed against a law enforcement officer under this section, the maximum fine is $5,000.
What are assault charges?
Tennessee classifies assault in four different ways:
- Simple assault. Simple assault is when you intentionally or knowingly cause bodily injury to another person. This crime is charged as a Class A misdemeanor that is penalized by fines of up to $2,500 and/or up to one year in jail.
- Aggravated assault. Aggravated assault is simple assault that leads to serious bodily injury to the victim with the attempt to cause serious bodily harm. You can be charged with aggravated assault if you use a deadly weapon to threaten the victim even if no physical harm is done. Aggravated assault can be charged as a Class C or Class D felony, punishable by a prison sentence between two and 15 years. Fines range from $2,500 to $10,000.
- Domestic assault. Domestic assault occurs when it is an assault between you and your spouse, intimate partner, or any other member of your immediate household. The penalties for domestic assault mirror those for assault (Class A misdemeanor with fines of no more than $2,500 and or up to one year in jail. If you are convicted of domestic assault you lose the right to own a firearm for the rest of your life in Tennessee.
- Vehicular assault. To be charged with vehicular assault, you must have been intoxicated at the time of your accident that caused serious bodily injury to someone else. Vehicular assault is charged as a Class D felony and comes with a prison sentence of two to 12 years. A conviction also means the loss of your driver’s license for up to one year. You can also be assessed a fine of no more than $5,000, which does not include court fees and other costs.
Assault charges in Tennessee cannot be expunged from your record no matter how much of a sentence you’ve served, if you completed probation, if you paid the required fines, or if you enter a guilty plea.
What are the enhancement factors in Tennessee related to assault charges?
Tennessee Code 40-35-114 allows the court to enhance assault charges for various circumstances, including:
- The defendant has prior convictions
- The defendant was the person in charge, or the leader, in an offense where two other perpetrators were present
- The offense in question involved multiple victims
- The victim of the offense was vulnerable due to physical or mental disability or age
- When the offense was committed, the defendant allowed the victim to be treated with exceptional cruelty
- The injuries inflicted on the victim were particularly great
- The offense in question gratified the defendant’s pleasure
- The defendant failed to comply with release conditions prior to sentencing or a trial
- The defendant committed the crime with the use of a firearm, explosive, or another deadly weapon
- When the risk to human life was high, the defendant exhibited no hesitation to commit the crime
- In the commission of a felony, the defendant inflicted serious bodily injury on the victim
- In the commission of a felony, the defendant was:
- Released on bail or pretrial release, if the defendant is ultimately convicted of the prior misdemeanor or felony;
- Released on parole;
- Released on probation;
- On work release;
- On community corrections;
- On some form of judicially ordered release;
- On any other type of release into the community under the direct or indirect supervision of any state or local governmental authority or a private entity contracting with the state or a local government;
- On escape status; or
- Incarcerated in any penal institution on a misdemeanor or felony charge or a misdemeanor or felony conviction
If you have been arrested for assault, contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys to discuss your case.
How can a Maryville criminal defense attorney help?
Facing an assault charge, no matter the type of assault is frightening. You get one phone call after being processed at the local police station. Make that call count and place it to an experienced criminal defense attorney. Criminal defense attorneys with decades of experience will be able to review the details of your case, investigate for you, review evidence, and help you understand what is at stake. Compassionate and experienced legal representation can make a difference when faced with a criminal charge in Tennessee.
Our goal with every assault case is to obtain a dismissal of your charges. However, this is not always possible. If your case cannot be dismissed, we will use our experience to negotiate a lower sentence in order to obtain lower fines and less jail time. If negotiations are not successful, Shepherd & Long, P.C. will build a defense to the charges that we believe will benefit you in front of a jury.
Contact a Maryville assault attorney for a free consultation
Were you or a loved one charged with assault? If so, it is in your best interest to speak to an experienced Maryville assault attorney from Shepherd & Long, P.C. Our team has decades of experience representing clients facing all types of assault charges in East Tennessee and beyond. For more information, or to schedule a consultation with Shepherd & Long, P.C., call 865-982-8060 or fill out our contact form.