What Are the Penalties of Assault?
Assault is a serious charge in the state of Tennessee. Compared to battery, a person is charged with assault when the act is threatening or resulting in the victim feeling that they’re in danger or harm. For example, if John says, “I’m going to hurt you,” and a victim feel their life is being threatened, the victim could file an assault charge. Additionally, if in the scenario John had a weapon, then John could be charged with aggravated assault.
What is a Misdemeanor Assault Charge?
Assault can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony in the state of Tennessee. An assault could be classified as a misdemeanor if the accused:
- states they are going to cause bodily harm to someone;
- pushes or slaps someone; or,
- causes someone to have physical contact that would be considered extremely offensive or provocative.
If someone faces a misdemeanor assault charge, they could face a range of punishments. This type of charge is usually defined as a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable with up to one year in prison and/or fines up to $2,500. If the charge is an intentional assault that causes physical contact that would be considered offensive or provocative, the accused would most likely face a Class B misdemeanor charge. This charge could result in the accused spending up to six months in jail, paying a fine of up to $500, or both. If the misdemeanor assault is committed against a law enforcement officer, health care official, or a person trying to perform their job duties, the accused could face a maximum fine of $15,000.
What is a Felony Assault Charge?
In Tennessee, an assault could be classified as a felony if the accused:
intentionally or recklessly caused serious physical harm to another person;
is the guardian of a child or adult and fails to protect that child or adult from an aggravated assault or abuse; or,
intentionally causes physical harm to a public employee or transit system worker while that person is performing their duties.
For someone facing a felony assault charge, the punishments are much more serious. A Class D felony, which would include aggravated assault involving reckless acts, is punishable by 2-12 years in prison and a fine up to $5,000. A Class C felony, which would include aggravated assault or as a guardian, failing to protect a child or adult in their care, is punishable by 3-15 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Being charged with assault is not something anyone should do on their own. Contact Meade Law Group for a free phone consultation today.