Memphis Domestic Violence Attorney
In its 2020 report on domestic violence, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation reported the flagging of 69,385 offenses as being domestic in 2020, with women accounting for 71.5 percent of alleged domestic violence victims. Boyfriend/girlfriend was the most common relationship in these cases, with none being the most common injury type (50.3 percent), followed by Minor Injuries (45.7 percent). Anybody accused of a domestic violence offense will want to make sure they have an experienced Memphis domestic violence attorney for help achieving the most favorable resolution to criminal charges.
Domestic disputes are incredibly common, and people need to be aware that when law enforcement responds to any domestic-related call, there is a high likelihood that at least one person will be arrested. Unfortunately, it is incredibly likely that people may face arrest even when there is little to no evidence of any kind of commission of a crime.
Types of Domestic Violence Offenses Our Memphis Domestic Violence Attorney Handles
Our firm handles domestic violence offenses throughout the greater Memphis area and Shelby County, including such crimes as:
- Aggravated assault, § 39-13-102
- Domestic assault, Tennessee Code § 39-13-111
- First-degree murder, Tennessee Code § 39-13-202
- Kidnapping or abduction, Tennessee Code § 39-13-303
- Sexual battery, Tennessee Code § 39-13-505
- Statutory rape and aggravated statutory rape, Tennessee Code § 39-13-506
- Intimidation, Tennessee Code § 39-17-309
- Stalking and aggravated stalking Tennessee Code § 39-17-315
- Aggravated burglary, § 39-13-1003
- Vandalism, § 39-14-408
Possible Criminal Penalties in Memphis
Some domestic violence offenses may be misdemeanors, while others are felonies. Both classifications have the potential to result in significant criminal penalties.
Misdemeanors in Tennessee may be punishable as follows:
- Class C misdemeanor – punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $50 fine
- Class B misdemeanor – punishable by up to six months in prison and a $500 fine
- Class A misdemeanor – punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in prison and a $2,500 fine
A repeat misdemeanor could lead to enhanced felony penalties in some cases. There are also misdemeanor offenses for which felony penalties will apply when the amount of harm to a person or property increases.
Felony offenses in Tennessee are punishable as follows:
- Class E felony – punishable by one to six years in prison and a $3,000 fine
- Class D felony – punishable by two to 12 years in prison and a $5,000 fine
- Class C felony – punishable by three to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine
- Class B felony – punishable by eight to 30 years in prison and a $25,000 fine
- Class A felony – punishable by 15 to 60 years in prison and a $50,000 fine
- First-degree murder – Punishable by death, or when death is not imposed, life in prison without the possibility of parole
In addition to imprisonment and fines, misdemeanor or felony convictions can have other consequences in Tennessee. An alleged offender may lose a professional license, see negative impacts on their immigration status, possible termination of their child custody rights, and forfeiture of any gun rights.
Aggravating and Mitigating Factors
Domestic violence cases could involve mitigating or aggravating factors that significantly impact the possible punishment a court can impose. Under Tennessee Code § 40-35-113, mitigating factors may include:
- Individual was charged that did not cause or threaten serious bodily injury..
- Individual acted under strong provocation or “in the heat of passion.
- Individual did not play a big part in the offense.
- Individual exercised bad judgment based on youth or old age.
- Individual was motivated by a strong desire to provide necessities for the needs of family or self.
- Individual was suffering from a serious mental or physical condition.
- Individual served as confidential informant for law enforcement.
- Individual helped law enforcement with a current investigation by locating or recovering any property or person involved in the crime.
- Individual acted under duress.
Our experienced attorneys can help assert these factors in court.
The aggravating, or enhancement factors, established under Tennessee Code § 40-35-114 include:
- Individual has prior criminal history. T
- Individual was leader in conspiracy.
- Multiple alleged victims were involved. T
- Large or severe injuries involved. .
- Individual violated bond conditions.
- Individual used a deadly weapon during a felony.
- And many more. . .
Many domestic violence cases in Memphis will be handled in the General Sessions Criminal Courts, which are comprised of nine courts. It will be Divisions 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 15. Colloquially, General Sessions is referred to as “downstairs.” General Sessions handles misdemeanors and felonies. With felonies, the court only has jurisdiction to preside over a preliminary hearing to determine probable cause.
Criminal courts in the Memphis area or “upstairs” include the following courts: Divisions 1-10. The majority of the cases set in Criminal Court have all been indicted and heard by the Grand Jury. Criminal Court hears both misdemeanors and felony cases and conducts jury trials.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free 30 Minute Consultation With a Memphis Domestic Violence Attorney
Are you facing domestic violence charges in the Memphis area of Shelby County? You will want to contact Pickford Law so you can have a skilled Memphis criminal defense attorney representing your interests in court.
Our firm understands the complexity inherent to these cases and can conduct a rigorous investigation to uncover all of the evidence that will be necessary to prove your innocence or at least fight for a reduction in or dismissal of criminal charges. Contact us today to set up a free consultation that will allow us to take a closer look at your case and offer legal guidance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I regain my gun rights after a domestic assault?
Not when there was a conviction. Check your final disposition on the warrant or judgment and speak to a lawyer about what legal weapons you might possess.
What is the difference between simple assault and domestic assault?
Simple assault is when you apply force to someone without their consent. This can be direct or indirect force. Alternatively, simple assault can be when you imply or threaten that you’ll apply force to someone, making them believe that you’ll actually harm them. Simple assault is a Class A misdemeanor in Tennessee, which is punishable up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Meanwhile, domestic assault is any type of assault between people in a family or relationship. This can include married couples, parents and children, guardians and children, or blood relatives. In Tennessee, a domestic assault charge is also a Class A misdemeanor with 11 months and 29 days in jail and up to $2500 in fines.
How can I keep a domestic violence charge from going on my record?
When you are a first-time offender, you could have multiple options. You may have to complete a period of probation, assuming your alleged victim does not want to prosecute, and you could enroll in an anger management course with a dismissal of the charges upon its completion. All of this depends on what the alleged victim wants, whether the state agrees to it, the facts of the case, and also perhaps taking a domestic violence assessment. You may need the alleged victim to sign an affidavit that they will not press charges and want to see a dismissal of the case.Free Case Review