A domestic violence charge is unique in that there are two problems to consider: the social embarrassment of being charged with a crime related to family violence and the harsh penalties that can come with a conviction. If you have been charged with domestic violence this dual nature of the charge makes your choice of an attorney very important.
About Domestic Violence Charges
Domestic violence is an issue of imminent public concern. The state of Tennessee takes crimes of domestic violence very seriously. Tennessee has a law called the “Domestic Abuse Act.” Codified at Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-601 et seq., the law provides a mechanism by which an alleged victim of domestic violence can obtain a protective order and obtain expedited help from the legal system from the alleged abuser. If a protective order is obtained, a person who violates that protective order can be arrested with or without a warrant. See Tenn. Code Ann. §36-3-611.
If a protective order is granted, that order may prohibit an individual from even “coming about the petitioner for any purpose, from telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with the petitioner, directly or indirectly.” Tenn. Code Ann. §36-3-606(a)(2). It can also mean that the petitioner – the person filing for the order of protection – can receive sole possession of the parties’ residence. This means that if an order of protection is filed against you, you may need to obtain suitable alternative housing for a time.
The purpose of the “Domestic Abuse Act” is “to recognize the seriousness of domestic abuse as a crime and to assure that the law provides a victim of domestic abuse with enhanced protection from domestic abuse.” Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-618. This section further explains that “the general assembly intends that the official response to domestic abuse shall stress enforcing the laws to protect the victim and prevent further harm to the victim, and the official response shall communicate the attitude that violent behavior is not excused or tolerated.”
Domestic violence can involve a variety of crimes but perhaps the most common is the crime of domestic assault, codified at Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-111. This crime consists of committing an “assault” to a “domestic abuse victim.”
The crime of domestic assault means that a person has committed the crime of assault against a domestic abuse victim, which can include former spouses, adults or minors who live together, adults or minors who are dating or who have had a sexual relationship, adults or minors related by blood or adoption, adults or minors who were related. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-111(a)(1)-(6).
There are other consequences to a conviction of domestic assault. Tennessee law provides that a conviction of domestic assault is classified as a “domestic violence offense” and a defendant who pleads guilty or is convicted of domestic assault must forfeit all of his or her firearms.
Your Murfreesboro Domestic Violence Lawyer
Thus, if you are facing charges of domestic assault, violation of a protective order from a former spouse or significant other, you need to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. The consequences of a conviction for domestic violence can have both direct and collateral consequences on your ability to obtain custody or visitation with children and could lead to other problems, such as removal from your home.
If you are convicted of a domestic violence charge you face the possibility of jail time, probation, and months of classes. You also can lose your right to own a gun. Forever.
When I was responding to domestic complaints as a law enforcement officer I understood that there is always two sides to an issue. I listened to both involved parties before making any decisions. You need an attorney who also understands this. An attorney who is not only willing to listen to your side but advocate for it as well. You need to put my years of experience as a first responder to work if you have been charged with a domestic-related offense. I will evaluate your case and prepare a defense strategy that will serve your best interests.
Don’t delay – call for a consultation today!
If you are facing a domestic violence charge in Tennessee, it is in your best interest to reach out to an experienced attorney to discuss your case and learn about your options. Schedule a consultation today!