Accusations of domestic violence are very serious. Even if there is no conviction, a charge can have a considerable impact on your personal and professional life.
And in the uncharted territory of the current situation we live in, the rate of individuals reporting domestic violence and filing charges is increasing.
What are the penalties for domestic violence?
In Tennessee, domestic assault is defined as:
- Causing bodily injury;
- Causing the fear of imminent bodily injury;
- Initiating offensive physical contact; or
- Even bodily harm from recklessness.
The situations that lead to accusations can be incredibly complex and often easy to misunderstand, especially with such a broad definition. Even so, the penalties can be severe. If police arrest individuals, state law requires a 12-hour cool-off period -spent in jail – before they can even post bond. And a conviction could lead to:
- Up to 11 months and 29 days in jail;
- Possible of a significant monetary fine; and
- Lost ability to own a firearm.
This is a Class A misdemeanor that could stay on a person’s criminal record and influence the rest of a person’s life if they do not take the proper actions to protect their rights. It is also one of the misdemeanors not eligible for a conviction expungement.
What if there is an order for protection?
The situation can become even more serious if a spouse or other loved one files an order for protection – more commonly known as a restraining order. This also could:
- Appear on an individual’s criminal record;
- Keep the person from seeing his or her family; and
- Keep the person out of his or her own home.
Violating such an order could result in even more charges.
If someone faces accusations of domestic violence, it is absolutely critical to consult an experienced defense attorney to protect their rights and future.