Under Tennessee law, a domestic assault occurs when a person causes harm or causes imminent fear of harm to another person (aka the “domestic abuse victim”). A domestic abuse victim is a person who falls under one of the following categories:
1. Adults or minors who are current or former spouses;
2. Adults or minors who live together or who have lived together;
3. Adults or minors who are dating or who have dated or who have or had a sexual relationship
4. Adults or minors related by blood or adoption; or
5. Adults or minors who are related or were formerly related by marriage.
Tennessee has very specific statutes designed to protect victims of domestic violence. When a police officer responds to a 911 call that could potentially involve a domestic assault, the police officer will make a decision of who the aggressor is and arrest them. Afterwards, the arrested person will have bond conditions that could forbid them from returning to their own home until their case is settled.
If you are charged with a domestic assault, it is important that you obtain competent legal counsel immediately to gather important information from eyewitnesses as well as the victim, and to effectively discuss your side of the case to the district attorney. Many times, the district attorney does not have crucial facts that could result in your case being retired or even dismissed.
A conviction of domestic assault can have several negative implications such as:
1. Never owning a gun
2. Completing battery intervention programs which can take up to 24-26 weeks.
3. Minimum 11 months/ 29 days probation and/or jail time.
4. Wearing a GPS monitoring devise
5. Non-citizens with immigration reporting requirements could be deported.
6. Possible job termination.