Before the early 1900s, domestic assaults were not as serious as they are today. In some decades and locations, domestic violence was viewed as a family matter in which the law did not meddle in. In other situations, if the alleged suspect confessed and apologized and the victim wanted the charges dropped, law enforcement would do so at the victim’s request. Diversion programs were in place, along with counseling and self-help classes to help both perpetrators and victims. With many repeat offenders, most states have shied away from diversion programs today. Furthermore, domestic assault charges are no longer dropped at the request of the alleged victim but are a strict matter of the law.
The Potential for Severe Domestic Assault Consequences
With the increased seriousness of domestic assault charges, comes an increase in their ramifications. Keep in mind that these charges are not confidential. Your criminal records are part of the public record, and potential employers and landlords can view them. Assault is a Class A or Class B misdemeanor. Aggravated assault is a Class C or Class D felony depending on the circumstances – for instance, whether the assault was intentional or reckless.
Common penalties for domestic assault in Tennessee include:
- Loss of the right to carry a firearm
- Paying special fines to fund family violence shelters and shelter programs
- Paying restitution that covers the victim’s cost of medical treatment, counseling, and repair or replacement of damaged property
- A Class A misdemeanor: up to 11 months and 29 days in jail or a fine up to $2500, or both
- A Class B misdemeanor: up to six months in jail or a fine up to $500, or both
- A Class C felony: 3 to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
- A Class D felony: 2 to 12 years in prison and a fine up to $5000
To help avoid or decrease these consequences, you need to be mindful of the five signs that it is time to hire a domestic assault lawyer.
Five Signs it is Time to Hire a Domestic Assault Lawyer
As with any crime or legal matter, the sooner you hire a domestic assault attorney to protect your interests, the better. Many facing these charges wait until they are charged and arrested to hire an attorney. While this is undoubtedly the most pressing time to do so, you can hire an attorney even before you are charged and arrested for domestic assault. In doing so, your attorney’s advice may save you from saying or doing something that would be detrimental to your case, your attorney can negotiate with the court before the charges are filed to lessen or drop them, your attorney could help you bail be set lower and they could help you avoid an embarrassing and inconvenient arrest.
Five signs it is time to hire a domestic assault attorney:
- Your spouse or significant other is threatening to go to the police
If your situation is about to be reported to the police, do not hesitate to secure the representation of an experienced domestic assault attorney
- Someone such as a neighbor or family member has called law enforcement about your potential domestic assault
Once local authorities have been alerted to the potential that you committed a domestic assault crime, it is only a matter of time before you are questioned and possibly charged. Now is the time to obtain legal help.
- You and your spouse or significant other had a physical altercation
Whether the altercation was mutual or whether it was reported to the police, by hiring a lawyer as soon as possible you will have the legal protections in place to help you
- You learn that there is an active warrant out for your arrest
Even if you are not sure what the warrant is for but know it could be for domestic assault, an attorney can help you during this difficult time
- Finally, you are arrest for a domestic assault charge
If you are arrested on charges of domestic assault, you need an attorney now more than ever to help the outcome of your case
Call Us Today to Retain an Experienced Domestic Assault Attorney
If you are aware of any of the previously mentioned signs or you simply have a hunch that you need legal advice or representation, do not hesitate to contact a Sevier County domestic assault attorney as soon as possible. By taking action today, you could lessen the severity of the consequences you could face for the rest of your life. Don’t ignore the warning signs that you could be in legal trouble.
Call the Barnes Law Firm at 865-805-5703 to schedule your consultation today, or you can use our online contact form. We also offer the convenient option of online video consultations. Our attorneys know that no two situations are exactly alike. Your case deserves individual attention and a personalized approach from our experienced lawyers.