When someone offensively touches another person or causes them to fear injury, they could face assault charges in the state of Tennessee. Under Tennessee Code Annotated Sec. 39-13-101, Tennessee residents may be charged with assault for intentionally touching another person offensively, intentionally or recklessly injuring another person, or intentionally causing someone to fear imminent bodily injury. As a Class A misdemeanor, an assault conviction may result in up to one year in prison and/or up to $2,500 in fines.
Under Sec. 39-13-102, a person may be charged with aggravated assault. Intentional aggravated assault may involve serious bodily injury or death, the use of a deadly weapon, or strangulation, while reckless aggravated assault may involve serious bodily injury or death, or the use or display of a deadly weapon. Intentional aggravated assault is a Class C felony, which could result in 3 to 15 years in prison, while reckless aggravated assault is a Class D felony, which could result in 2 to 12 years in prison.
Defending against assault charges is never easy, but there are various defenses that have proven to be successful in assault cases. One of the strongest arguments in favor of the accused is that they were acting in self-defense or in the defense of others.
Proving self-defense requires the accused to show that they had a real, reasonable perceived fear of harm against themselves or someone else and a threat of unlawful force or harm against them or someone else. They must also show that they could not retreat and that they did not provoke or initiate harm first. A criminal defense attorney in your area can help come up with an effective defense strategy for your specific case. With the right strategy, your charges could be reduced or dropped altogether.