Nashville Domestic Violence Attorneys
When the police respond to an incident of alleged domestic violence, state law mandates that the preferred response of officers is to arrest the primary aggressor. Though this law is intended to protect victims of domestic violence, it may also force the hand of the police to make arrests that they may not have otherwise. That being said, regardless of the events that led up to your arrest, you will need to do everything you can to defend your rights and protect your future as you work your way through the coming legal process.
If you have been arrested on allegations that you engaged in any act of domestic violence, it will be critical that you retain legal representation immediately. The consequences of a conviction on any domestic violence charge can be devastating; for instance, convictions can lead to restraining orders, affect custody agreements, and alter the way a person is perceived during divorce. Horst Law knows just how much will be on the line in your case, and he can help you take any legal action necessary to defend you against any of the following charges.
As defined in the Tennessee penal code, domestic violence laws may be applied to any alleged assault that occurs between individuals who are married, living together, dating, engaged in a sexual relationship, related by blood, or otherwise related through marriage. In addition, children of individuals who meet the above criteria are included under domestic violence laws. It is of further note that individuals do not need to currently be in a domestic relationship for these laws to apply so long as they previously were in such a relationship.
For all intents and purposes, the actual act of domestic assault is defined in the same way that simple assault is under state law. As such, domestic assault includes every act whereby a person recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person with whom they are in a domestic relationship; causes a reasonable fear of imminent bodily harm; or causes physical contact that would be perceived as highly offensive or provocative to any reasonable person. As is the case with simple assault, domestic assault is a Class A or Class B misdemeanor.
Aggravated Domestic Assault
In order for a domestic assault charge to be prosecuted under its aggravated form, the DA needs to believe that the alleged offense knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly caused serious bodily injury to a person with whom the suspect is or was in a domestic relationship; committed the act of assault while using or making visible a deadly weapon; or knowingly or intentionally caused or even attempted to cause any form of bodily harm when the suspect is in a diversion program, under a court order, or on probation. Depending on the allegations of the case, this offense will be prosecuted as either a Class C or D felony, both of which carry mandatory minimum prison sentences.
Under state law, marital rape is defined as any act wherein one spouse forces the other to engage in unwanted sexual penetration. Spousal rape charges may be applied to any incident wherein it is alleged that one spouse was not capable of consenting to sexual penetration—for instance, if one spouse was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he or she may not have possessed the mental capacity to legally consent to intercourse. This offense is a Class C felony, meaning that it will carry a mandatory minimum prison sentence of three years if you are convicted.
This charge may be elevated to its aggravated form if a specifically-defined set of circumstances are alleged. Aggravated spousal rape is defined as unwanted sexual penetration wherein it is alleged that the defendant knowingly engaged in conduct thought to be particularly cruel, vile, or inhumane, and that either was commissioned with the threat of a weapon or that caused serious bodily harm. As a Class B felony, aggravated spousal rape is punishable with a mandatory minimum prison sentence of at least eight years.
Consult with a Domestic Violence Attorney in Nashville
If you have been arrested and charged with any form of domestic violence, it will be in your best interest to seek out legal counsel immediately. Horst Law has the experience and resources you will need to defend your rights and protect your future as we work through the coming legal process. Once you reach out to a member of our team, we can begin developing a comprehensive legal strategy that will challenge the allegations that have been leveled against you. To speak with a domestic violence attorney in Nashville about your case, please call our offices at (615) 403-2971 today.