Taylor Law Group Blog

What is assault and how serious is it?

Posted by John C. Taylor | Jul 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

What is the criminal offense of assault?

Clients charged with assault are often faced with a wide variety of possible punishments, significantly ranging in seriousness.  Assault can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances.  Most often, when a defendant is charged with misdemeanor assault, the person stands accused of causing bodily injury to another person- and doing so intentionally or recklessly.  This is typically seen in instances of physical fights between people, where arguments or altercations come to blows- ACUTAL PHYSICAL CONTACT that harms another.  A key factor with misdemeanor assault is that the injury inflicted is not serious.  

Assault doesn't have to involve physical contact at all.  

That's right.  Sometimes clients are charged with assault EVEN IF THEY DO NOT MAKE ANY PHYSICAL CONTACT AT ALL with the other person.  Merely placing the other person in "reasonable fear" of a bodily injury can result in the criminal charge of assault.  In this case, all one must do is create in the other person's mind a reasonable belief that he will be struck in a harmful way.  Difficult as this may be to believe- placing someone in fear of harm is treated with the same seriousness under the law as actually striking and harming another.  

Assault can even be for offensive contact.  

Another form of assault is "extremely offensive" or "provocative" contact with another.  Most often seen in religious contexts, a person can be charged with assault if he makes contact with another person (not in a way to injure or physically harm the other person) in a way that is intended to be offensive.  Some religions prohibit contact with certain animals or foods.  Intentionally causing contact with such items, even when such contact does not actually injure, will be treated as assault in Tennessee.  

Misdemeanor assault punishments

When convicted of misdemeanor assault, the defendant faces up to 11 months and 29 days in jail.  

What makes assault a felony?

Felony assault, called aggravated assault in Tennessee, has generally the same elements as misdemeanor assault, but it involves more- the infliction of serious bodily injury, the risk or actual cause of death, the use of a deadly weapon, or the act of strangulation.  Likewise, when a parent fails to protect a child from serious harm inflicted by another- this can result in the charge of aggravated assault.  

Felony assault punishments

Depending on the facts leading the the felony assault - punishments can range from 2 to 6 years in prison (for those with no significant criminal record)- but for those who have a significant criminal history- the punishments can be much more serious.  

Contact Taylor Law Group For Help.

Taylor Law Group stands ready to defend all those charged with assault- misdemeanor or felony.  The implications are too serious and the stakes are too high.  If you are facing assault charges, no matter what the circumstances, contact Taylor Law Group immediately for a free consultation- 615-890-1982.  With years of experience successfully defending all types of assault charges, Taylor Law Group is here FOR YOUR FUTURE.

About the Author

John C. Taylor

John C. Taylor is a Murfreesboro native and a graduate of Oakland High School. He earned his bachelor's degree from Furman University in Greenville, SC, where he participated in the Furman Advantage Research program, studying religion in American politics. John also earned his Master's degree.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Comments have been disabled.