Murfreesboro Simple Assault Lawyers in Rutherford County
Attorneys with a proven record of success passionately defending the rights of the accused against Tennessee simple assault charges
Pushing someone out of the way as you try to make your way through a crowd might not appear to be a criminal act to you because you were only trying to clear a path for yourself, but if the person is injured, you could be charged with a misdemeanor that could send you to jail. The Murfreesboro attorneys at Dotson & Taylor know that a simple assault charge is a serious criminal offense that must not be taken lightly.
We focus our more than 40 years of combined experience to the difficult task of defending you from a charge that does not require proof of intent to harm someone in order for prosecutors to obtain a conviction. A reckless act is all that may be needed to turn your life upside down.
What is simple assault in Tennessee?
What distinguishes a simple assault from more serious assault charges is the type of injury inflicted upon the victim. A broken bone suffered by a victim might lead to an aggravated assault charge while a bruise might cause police to charge you with simple assault. If you and the victim of a simple assault are family members or reside in the same household, you could be charged with the more serious crime of domestic assault.
The elements of a simple assault charge under Tennessee criminal law include the following:
- Bodily injury: Causing someone to suffer bodily injury can be charged as a simple assault if it is done intentionally, recklessly or knowingly.
- Fear of harm: Causing someone to be fearful of imminent bodily harm or injury is a simple assault under the law.
- Provocative or offensive contact: Initiating physical contact that is provocative or offensive to the person with whom you come into contact can be the basis for a simple assault charge.
The reckless conduct referred to in the statute does not require the element of intent to cause harm to another person. Reckless conduct is generally considered to be an act carried out without regard to the consequences that might arise. For example, if you push your way through a crowded club to get to the bar to order a drink, your intent in doing so might not have been to cause injury to another person. Unfortunately, if the pushing causes someone to fall and get hurt, prosecutors will probably charge you with simple assault.
Penalties and consequences associated with a simple assault conviction
When the victim of a simple assault suffers a physical injury, the crime is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine up to $2,500. Provocative or offensive physical contact with a victim is classified as a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and fines up to $500.
Judges frequently order that a person convicted of simple assault pay restitution to compensate the victim. The amount of the restitution will depend upon the extent of the physical injuries or damage to personal property caused by the conduct.
How our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys can help
Our Murfreesboro simple assault attorneys understand the importance of mounting a vigorous and tenacious defense to challenge every aspect of the case that government prosecutors are trying to build against you. We design a defense strategy to take advantage of any weaknesses in the evidence or the witness testimony prosecutors have to support the charges.
The law provides for alternatives to the severe jail sentences associated with simple assault convictions. Even if you are convicted, our resourceful and top-notch defense attorneys pursue sentencing alternatives including:
- Judicial Diversion: If you have no prior criminal record, judges are authorized to grant you a deferred sentence under which you are placed on probation pending final sentencing. Provided you successfully complete the interim period of probation, the judge can dismiss the charges without imposing further penalties upon you.
- Suspended Sentence: Under a suspended sentence option, a judge sentences you to serve time in jail, but the sentence is suspended as long as you complete all or part of it under probation supervision.
Pursuing all sentencing options that might be available to you is only one of the important things our defense attorneys do on your behalf.
Skilled Murfreesboro criminal defense lawyers dedicated to your defense
The client-oriented criminal defense attorneys at the Murfreesboro office of Dotson & Taylor understand that an arrest and criminal charges can leave you confused and bewildered. If you have been charged with simple assault, call us today at 615-890-1982 to schedule a free initial consultation to get your questions answered by one of our attorneys. You can also schedule an appointment through our website.