Clarksville Assault Attorney
Our Attorneys defend against assault charges in Clarksville and throughout Middle Tennessee.
Under Tennessee law, a person commits an assault in one of three different ways:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly injuring someone else;
- Intentionally or knowingly causing someone else to reasonably fear imminent bodily injury; or
- Intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact with someone that they could reasonably find extremely offensive or provocative.
Classification & Maximum Sentences
Generally, Assault is a Class A Misdemeanor under Tennessee law, which carries a potential sentence of up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and a $2,500.00 fine.
However, an assault by offensive or provocative contact is a Class B Misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of 6 months in the county jail and a $500.00 fine. Court costs, including jail fees, are typically assessed in addition to any fines. Failure to pay court costs and fines can result in the offender’s driver’s license being suspended.
Aggravated Assault in Tennessee
In Tennessee, a misdemeanor or “simple” assault becomes an aggravated assault under five circumstances:
- The offender uses a deadly weapon to commit the assault.
- The victim sustains serious bodily injury or dies as a result of the assault.
- The assault involves strangulation or attempted strangulation.
- The offender intentionally or knowingly fails or refuses to protect his or her child from an aggravated assault resulting in serious bodily injury or from aggravated child abuse.
- The offender assaults the victim while subject to a valid restraining order, injunction, diversion, or probation agreement forbidding the offender from causing or attempting to cause bodily injury.
Is Aggravated Assault a Felony in Tennessee?
Yes, aggravated assault is a felony in Tennessee. Aggravated assault is described as intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing serious physical injury to someone or deliberately or willfully attempting to cause bodily harm by strangulation.
In addition to any prison sentence, it can carry an enhanced fine of up to $15,000.00 if committed against any first responder or healthcare provider of the following people during their duties.
Domestic assault is an assault committed against any of the following people:
- Current or former spouses
- People who live together or who have lived together
- People who are dating or who have dated or who have or had a sexual relationship
- People who are or were related by blood, adoption, or marriage
- Adult or minor children of anyone described above
Defenses to an Assault Charge
The following defenses may be available against an assault or aggravated assault charge:
- Insanity- The defendant, because of a severe mental disease or defect, was unable to appreciate the nature or wrongfulness of the defendant's acts at the time of the offense
- Ignorance or Mistake of Fact- The defendant was ignorant or mistaken of a fact, and as a result, the defendant did not act intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently in committing the offense (as applicable)
- Note: Mistake of law, however, is never a defense to a crime
- Involuntary Intoxication- As a result of involuntary intoxication, the defendant lacked substantial capacity either to appreciate the wrongfulness of the person's conduct or to conform that conduct to the requirements of the law allegedly violated
- Note: Voluntary intoxication is not a defense to a crime, but evidence of it may be admitted at trial if it is relevant to show that the defendant did not act intentionally or knowingly in committing the offense (as applicable)
- Duress- The defendant committed the offense while being threatened with immediate harm that causes the defendant to reasonably fear death or serious bodily injury if the defendant does not commit the offense, if:
- The threatened harm is continuous throughout the time the offense is being committed,
- The defendant is unable to withdraw to safety,
- The desirability and urgency of avoiding the harm clearly outweighs the harm sought to be prevented by the law forbidding the charged offense, and
- The defendant did not intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly become involved in a situation in which it was probable that he or she would be subjected to compulsion.
- Entrapment - Law enforcement officials, acting either directly or through an agent, induced or persuaded an otherwise unwilling and not predisposed defendant to commit the offense
- Necessity- The defendant reasonably believed that his or her conduct was immediately necessary to avoid imminent harm, and desirability and urgency of avoiding the harm clearly outweighs the harm sought to be prevented by the law forbidding the charged offense
- Public Duty- The defendant reasonably believes the conduct is required or authorized by law, by the judgment or order of a competent court or other tribunal, or in the execution of legal process and the defendant’s conduct otherwise met the relevant standards for self-defense or defense of property
- Self Defense – At the time of the offense, the defendant used force that he or she reasonably believed was immediately necessary to protect against another person’s use or attempted use of unlawful force
- Note (Duty to Retreat): If the defendant is not engaged in unlawful activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be, the defendant has no duty to retreat before threatening or using force in his or her defense
- Note (Deadly Force): A defendant may only threaten or use force intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if he or she reasonably and honestly fears imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury. Subject to certain exceptions and qualifications, the law presumes the defendant to hold the required level of fear if using deadly force against a person who has unlawfully and forcibly entered the defendant’s residence, business, dwelling, or vehicle.
- Note (Exceptions to Self-Defense): The following circumstances prevent the defendant from claiming self-defense:
- The defendant consented to the exact force used or attempted by the other person,
- The defendant provoked the other person’s use or attempted use of unlawful force, unless the defendant abandons the encounter or clearly communicates to the other the intent to do so, and the other person nevertheless continues or attempts to use unlawful force against the defendant, or
- The defendant threatens or uses force to resist a halt at a roadblock, arrest, search, or stop and frisk that the defendant knows is being made by a law enforcement officer, unless the law enforcement officer uses or attempts to use greater force than necessary to make the arrest, search, stop and frisk, or halt, and the defendant reasonably believes that the force is immediately necessary to protect against the officer's use or attempted use of such force
- Note (Defense of Another): The standards governing self-defense also govern the defendant’s threat or use of force necessary to protect a third person if the defendant reasonably believes that it is immediately necessary to protect the third person
- Protection of Life and Health – The defendant uses non-deadly force against another to the degree the defendant reasonably believes is immediately necessary to prevent the other from committing suicide or from the self-infliction of serious bodily injury
- Protection of Property – The defendant in lawful possession or real or personal property is justified in using non-deadly force against another to the degree the defendant reasonably believes is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the other's trespass on the land or unlawful interference with the property
- Effective consent - The victim effectively consented to an assaultive conduct that does not involve death or serious bodily injury and that is a reasonably foreseeable hazard of joint participation in a lawful athletic contest or competitive sport or any other joint activity that is otherwise legal.
Contact an assault defense attorney in Clarksville by calling . Schedule your free confidential consultation for a personal review of potential defenses to your assault charges.
Investigating and Charging Assault
As with any criminal offense, the officer or prosecutor must demonstrate that there is probable cause to believe that you have committed an assault or an aggravated assault to file charges against you. Whether you have been charged or are seeking assistance with an ongoing criminal investigation, it is important you consult with our attorneys at Jeff Grimes & Associates, PLLC as early in the case as possible to protect your rights. Once you become our client, we will thoroughly investigate your case, advise you of your legal options, keep you informed about what to expect throughout your case, and will aggressively proceed to protect your rights and achieve success both in and out of the courtroom.
Our Attorneys Assist with Assault Charges in Clarksville and Throughout Middle Tennessee
Our Attorneys have successfully represented clients in motion hearings, settlement hearings, and trials in Circuit Courts, General Sessions Courts, Juvenile Courts, and Appeals Courts throughout middle Tennessee, as well as in U.S. Magistrate Court. They have the experience you need to help you protect your rights and achieve victory in your case.
What sets Jeff Grimes & Associates apart?
- 40+ years of combined experience
- Client-focused representation
- Effective defense strategies
- Proven results
- Ready to take your call 24/7/365
- Reasonable payment plans
At Jeff Grimes & Associates, your satisfaction is our priority! See for yourself what our clients have to say about working with us.
- Lisa S.
I hired their law firm for a legal case and not only were they highly professional but always courteous and respectful. They exceeded my expectations and got me everything I needed. If I ever need legal services again I will definitely be choosing them in the future.
- Brad H.
If you need legal counsel then I highly recommend you make an appointment with this firm. Mr. Sensing was my attorney and is very dedicated to his clients going to great lengths to provide the very best defense possible. Stays in touch with his clients always bringing them up to speed on what is being done in their case providing copies of everything to the client. HONEST, LOYAL, AND DEDICATED this firm gets 5 stars.
- Spence W.
I took a trip out to TN and got in to some trouble in Clarksville and needed representation for a case while I was I back in my home state. I went to Grimes, Sensing & Clemons feeling distraught and like I had no hope, seeking a solid defense attorney that would actually fight for my case and get me the best possible deal. I left feeling comfortable and confident. I can honestly say I was not disappointed, the only time I needed to come back to TN was for the sentencing(mind you cases may differ) and unbelievably Jeffery Grimes was able to pull a rabbit out of a hat and get a felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor as well as talk down the court fines... I strongly suggest Jeffery Grimes as your defense attorney for any legal issues you may have, also their fees are very reasonable and they will do payment plans. Thank you very much Grimes, Sensing and Clemons.
- Satisfied Client
Thank you so much Grimes, Sensing & Clemons PLLC!! I've been working with them for months and I couldn't be happier. Grimes helped with all of the little details I didn't even know I needed. He is always friendly and ready to answer all of my questions. Your attention to my case has allowed me to focus on what's important to me, healing and family. Thank you for helping me I know it’s your job but the peace of mind you gave me is priceless. Thanks again! ~ YC
- Toni M.
I hired Mr Sensing to assist me with the modification of a parenting plan that just wasn’t working anymore. I hired another lawyer in the Clarksville area that did not do their due diligence. Mr Sensing and his team were great throughout the process. Emails and phone calls were actually returned in a timely manner! Which wasn’t the case with the lawyer I used before. I had access to all my court documents and was always kept informed on what was going on with my case. Lastly Mr Sensing is very experienced and knowledgeable in his field. The outcome for my request was better than I could have hoped for, and I honestly feel like that was due to Mr Sensing.
- Dennis H.
Grimes is the best defense lawyer you could ask for. He was able to take what would generally be a felony for sure and get it down to a misdemeanor and a fine. If you have him as your lawyer, you won't have anything to worry about.
- David L.
Mr.Grimes made my case go very smoothly and easily for me I was out of state for a good part of it he went out of his way to let me know if something changed and he was always very professional and fairly priced! I would recommend him a thousand times over!!
- Satisfied Client
Mr. Sensing is an excellent attorney. He fought with me the whole 2 years my case took for me to get the time with my son I’ve always wanted. I will definitely recommend his services to anyone and I will be going back to him if I have any issues in the future. Also Pat and Amy are awesome!!