All criminal charges in Tennessee carry the possibility of jail time - even speeding. First, let's review the possible punishment for aggravated assault under Tennessee law. Aggravated assault carries a full range of punishment, including three to fifteen years in jail, if one is convicted. The big question is whether you will be sentenced to jail.
Tennessee's sentencing laws on whether jail is necessary can be found at T.C.A. 40-35-102. Sentences involving confinement have three considerations.
- Confinement is necessary to protect society by restraining a defendant who has a long history of criminal conduct.
- Confinement is necessary to avoid depreciating the seriousness of the offense or confinement is particularly suited to provide an effective deterrence to others likely to commit similar offenses.
- Measures less restrictive than confinement have frequently or recently been applied unsuccessfully to the defendant.
To make it simple, the judge reviews your criminal record and whether or not you have been on probation before and, additionally, considers the specific facts surrounding the aggravated assault.
You may still be eligible for probation if convicted of aggravated assault. Also, you are eligible for judicial diversion if you have never been convicted. There are other options to avoid going to jail or to lessen your jail time, one being split confinement where you serve some time but not the entire sentence.
The takeaway is that the likelihood of jail is small if it is your first offense, no significant injuries were inflicted, and no weapon was involved. However, a bad record equals the possibility of jail.
Feel free to contact us if you are facing charges of aggravated assault.