Assault in Tennessee is a complicated legal issue. There are so many different types of assault. One of the first things that come up in assault cases is whether the accused should be charged with misdemeanor assault or felony assault.
Aggravated assault is one of Tennessee’s wobbler laws. That means the exact circumstances of the incident determine whether you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. There are several different types of aggravated assault in Tennessee.
- Assault with caustic chemicals
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Assault a school employee with a deadly weapon
- Assault with a firearm
- Assault with the intent to cause great bodily injury
Assault with a Deadly Weapon
If you’re convicted of felony assault with a deadly weapon you could spend the next four years in a state prison and be hit with up to $10,000 in fines. You’ll also probably have to go through a felony probation period.
If a gun is involved, the situation becomes even more complicated. If you have a simple handgun during the assault, the DA has the option of charging you with a misdemeanor. However, if the gun was a machine gun, an assault weapon, a semi-automatic, or a .50 BMG rifle you’re automatically hit with felony charges. If you’re found guilty of felony assault with a deadly weapon that included one of the listed firearms, you could be sentenced to twelve years in prison.
All types of assaults can be punished with jail time as well as fines. In Tennessee, the maximum amount of time you can be sentenced to prison for an assault charge is four years. However, sentence enhancements and additional charges could mean a significantly longer sentence.
When you’re the defendant in an assault case, it’s probable that the criminal charges will only be one of your worries. It’s highly likely that the victim will decide to file a civil case against you, during which they will seek payment for actual and punitive damages.