What is Domestic Assault in Tennessee?

Domestic Assault, commonly referred to as domestic violence charge, is an assault on someone who is related by blood, marriage, in a dating relationship, or even roommates. Domestic assault also applies to those in a gay/lesbian relationships. Most arrests for domestic assault are between spouses or boyfriends and girlfriends; however, the definition of victims is broad and can include siblings, former spouses, people currently or formerly related by marriage, or ex-boyfriends/girlfriends, or domestic partners.

An assault can be charged three different ways, including by 1) causing bodily injury to another person, or by 2) causing the other person to fear imminent bodily injury. A charge of Domestic Assault under Tennessee Law is a Class A Misdemeanor, the highest class of misdemeanors, meaning that the maximum punishment for a conviction is 11 months 29 days in jail. Domestic assault carries a maximum fine of $200.

The third way domestic assault can be charged is by physical contact with another person which that person considers extremely offensive or provocative. Tennessee courts have said that cutting someone’s hair or kissing them without their consent is extremely offensive or provocative. If the domestic assault was charged as extremely offensive or provocative, it is a Class B Misdemeanor, meaning the maximum punishment is 6 months in jail and a maximum fine of $200.

Additionally, if you are charged with a domestic assault, you may be ordered by the judge to complete a batterer’s intervention program or receive counseling for drug or alcohol dependency. If convicted, you will never be allowed to own or possess a firearm with a domestic violation conviction on your record.

If you have any questions about a domestic assault or domestic violence case please contact Rob McKinney at 615-686-2115, via email at rob@robmckinneylaw.com.