Nashville Defense Attorney
Simple assault is the act of threatening an individual with injury or attempting to do so. While simple assault does not require physical contact, bodily injury, or battery, it is still considered a serious crime. According to Tennessee Code Annotated Section 39-13-101, simple assault is defined as:
- Causing bodily injury to another intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly
- To intentionally or knowingly disturb a reasonable fear of bodily injury
- The act of intentionally or knowingly making physical contact with another in a manner that would be considered extremely offensive or provocative by a reasonable person.
Simple assault can be charged as a Class A or Class B misdemeanor. An accused offender must have threatened or caused bodily harm to the victim to be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor. In the case of a Class A misdemeanor simple assault, the maximum punishment is 11 months and 29 days in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. For a Class B misdemeanor, the offender must have perpetrated provocative or offensive physical contact. A Class B misdemeanor simple assault is punishable by a maximum six-month jail sentence, a maximum fine of $5,000, or both.
Restitution may be required in Tennessee for simple assault convictions, in which the victim is reimbursed for the costs associated with the crime.
Any person who carries out an assault while brandishing a deadly weapon can be charged with felony aggravated assault. Weapons of this type can include anything capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death, such as hunting knives, firearms, or even brass knuckles. A rope, for example, can also serve as a deadly weapon, though it is not manufactured to cause bodily harm.
According to Tennessee Code Annotated Section 39-13-102, aggravated assault is defined as:
- Inflicting serious physical harm on another person intentionally or recklessly
- Intentionally or knowingly inflicting physical harm
- Intentionally or knowingly causing bodily harm to another individual while under a legal agreement or order prohibiting such behavior
- Being a parent or guardian of a child or adult and failing to protect them from child abuse or aggravated assault
As with simple assault, aggravated assault is classified in two ways. Class C felonies are punishable by 3-15 years in prison or a maximum fine of $10,000. The penalty for a Class D felony can range from two to twelve years in prison as well as a maximum fine of $5,000. As with simple assault, someone convicted of aggravated assault may have to pay restitution to the victim.