Minor cases of assault are known as ‘simple assault’ but are still serious crimes in Tennessee.
Simple assault in Manchester, Tennessee is taken seriously by the authorities. Although simple assault is not as serious an offense as aggravated assault, those convicted could still face jail time. They will also have a permanent criminal record that will make obtaining employment and other opportunities difficult in the future.
It is essential that anyone charged with simple assault speaks to a Tennessee criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. There are defenses to assault, and possible alternatives to jail sentences. An attorney will understand the judicial system and which individuals are eligible for these alternatives.
Defining Simple Assault in Manchester
The Tennessee Code, Section 39-13-101 defines simple assault as knowingly or recklessly causing bodily harm to another person. This can include making a physical threat, raising a fist, a battery attempt even if no one was injured, or any other intent for harm. For a person’s actions to constitute assault, it must result in the victim being in fear of imminent bodily harm, or physical contact that another reasonable person would find particularly offensive or provocative.
The statute also states that reckless behavior may result in a simple assault charge. When a person is reckless, his or her actions may be unreasonable even when he or she does not intend to cause harm. This means that even pushing someone out of the way in a crowded area so you can pass could constitute simple assault if that person became injured as a result.
Typically, simple assault results in minor injuries, such as cuts, scrapes, and bruises. If the victim sustains greater injuries than these, such as broken bones or disfigurement, the charge is upgraded to aggravated assault.
Penalties for Simple Assault
When assault only results in physical contact that is considered offensive or provocative, the crime is typically considered a Class B misdemeanor. Penalties for this crime for those convicted include up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $500. If the offense resulted in bodily harm or put the victim in fear of imminent bodily harm, simple assault is considered a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, accused individuals face up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, and a maximum fine of $2,500.
A judge may also order those convicted of simple assault to pay restitution to the victim. This is to provide compensation to the accident victim for expenses such as medical treatment and counseling, if necessary.
Facing Charges? Contact Our Tennessee Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you have been charged with simple assault, it is crucial that you speak to a Manchester criminal defense attorney. These are serious charges, but there are options available. At Burch & Lockhart, we are the attorneys who know the defenses that can form a strong basis for your case. We also know there are alternatives such as judicial diversion and suspended sentences and will recommend when they are appropriate. Do not take your case on alone. Call us today at (931) 723-7997 and get the quality defense you need.