Domestic violence-related charges can lead to plenty of jail time, and anyone facing one in Tennessee should consider speaking with a lawyer. The state takes any instance of domestic violence seriously, and having an experienced Franklin domestic violence attorney and law firm on your side can be the difference between jail time and a not-guilty verdict.
Lee Ofman has over 30 years of professional experience in defense law in Tennessee, and he’s seen just about every kind of case in the legal system. He’s worked on numerous high-profile cases and secured a better verdict for his clients.
Some of his finest cases include going to trial with a client facing second-degree murder and ending up with a charge of criminally negligent homicide and less than six months of jail time. In another instance, a client facing first-degree murder ended up with no jail time. Mr. Ofman has bona fide success stories, and you can trust him with a criminal case like domestic violence.
Domestic violence is not an official criminal charge in Tennessee but rather a class of cases such as:
Any of these crimes fall under the umbrella of domestic violence, and each carries different charges and sentencing guidelines.
Domestic assault is the most common of these crimes and constitutes any instance of violence against a household or family member. This violence can be physical attacks or threats that make the victim fear for their safety.
A crime falls into the domestic category if the alleged victim is a:
Aggravated domestic assault is when a crime reaches a more severe tenor. Prosecutors will look to charge someone with aggravated assault when the perpetrator allegedly uses a deadly weapon while committing the crime. A prosecutor may also charge someone with aggravated domestic assault if there are any broken bones or reports of strangulation.
Domestic violence does not include sex crimes, as those are charged separately.
Tennessee lays out its domestic assault policies in Title 39, Chapter 13, Part 1, Section 39-13-111 of the penal code. Domestic assault can fall under the misdemeanor or felony category, depending on the severity of the crime and any aggravating factors.
The shortest sentence comes from a charge for a Class B misdemeanor. The prosecutor can charge someone with a Class B misdemeanor for doing a provocative act, and anyone convicted faces up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.
Class A misdemeanors constitute any crime where someone caused or threatened an injury. Anyone convicted of a Class A misdemeanor faces up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and a potential fine of up to $2,500.
Aggravated assault will allow the prosecutor to seek a felony charge of either Class C or D. Class D felonies are for reckless behavior, while Class C covers instances where intentionality played a part.
Class D felonies carry sentencing guidelines of between two and 12 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000. Class C felonies increase the jail time to between 3 and 15 years and the maximum fine to $10,000.
While the United States and Tennessee law allows anyone to represent themselves in a criminal case, most legal professionals will tell you that it’s better to seek representation. A seasoned Franklin, TN, domestic violence defense lawyer and law firm can assist you with every step of the legal process.
Domestic violence cases carry plenty of emotion, but your attorney can be neutral and break down your case in an unbiased manner. They can also work with you to formulate a legal strategy to showcase your innocence and explain your side of the story.
A: Aggravated domestic assault in Tennessee raises the offense to the level of a felony. The charges depend on whether the prosecutor believes that there was intentionality or recklessness at play. Recklessness leads to a Class D felony, with jail time of between two and 12 years. Class C felonies are for intentional aggravated domestic assault and carry a sentence of three to 15 years.
A: There are a few legal defenses your attorney can use against a domestic violence charge. They could argue that you were defending yourself from an attack from the other party. The defense may also point to a history of false accusations. The police also have standards that they must meet when interviewing people related to the case and gathering evidence. If the police do not follow these procedures, your attorney may be able to argue to throw out the charge.
A: The police will respond to any calls about domestic violence and interview anyone involved. They will gather any evidence they have and place the alleged perpetrator under arrest if they have enough reason to. Then, the prosecutor will take over the case and determine what charges, if any, to bring against the accused. The defense may choose to make a plea deal or fight the charges in court.
A: Attorney costs will fluctuate in Tennessee depending on:
In general, you should expect to pay anywhere between $100 and $400 per hour for a criminal defense attorney in Tennessee. The average cost is around $250 per hour.
The Law Office of Lee Ofman can help when you need a Franklin, TN, domestic violence defense lawyer and law firm. They have over 30 years of experience working on criminal cases and can help guide you through the legal process. Contact us today to get started with your legal defense.