Domestic violence can be a misdemeanor or felony charge in Tennessee. Either way, the charge needs to be taken seriously because a conviction can result in serious punishments and hang over your head for the rest of your life. If you are charged with DV, there is no time to waste. You need to consult with a Memphis domestic violence defense lawyer.
What is Considered Domestic Violence?
Any crime committed against someone you are in a relationship with, related to, or living with can be considered domestic violence. So assault against a partner or former partner, your child, another family member, or even a roommate can be charged as domestic violence. Other crimes against someone you live with or have a relationship with, like sexual assault, stalking, and harassment can also be considered DV.
What Makes Domestic Violence a Felony?
Whether or not you get charged with felony domestic violence usually depends on what kind of crime you are accused of. If you are accused of aggravated assault, it is likely that you will be charged with a felony. Aggravated assault often involves a weapon of some kind and a perpetrator’s clear intent to do harm.
What Are the Punishments for Domestic Violence?
Punishments for a domestic violence felony conviction are often serious. A conviction for a Class D felony can get you two to 12 years behind bars. You could also owe a fine of up to $5,000.If your charge has been upgraded to a Class C felony, you can end up facing a prison term between three and 15 years long in addition to fines of up to $10,000.
At the same time, whoever is accusing you of violence probably has an order of protection against you. That can prevent you from living in your own home and seeing your children or pets. A conviction can also follow you around and interfere with other aspects of your life. For example, a potential employer or landlord can see a DV conviction on your record, affecting your ability to secure a job or housing.
What if I Already Have a Criminal Record?
If you already have a criminal record, it is more likely that you will face a felony domestic violence charge. If this is not your first DV charge, jail time is mandatory and fines get even higher. You may even need to pay restitution to the alleged victim. So you need to be ready to defend yourself. A criminal defense lawyer from our firm can help you with that.
Talk to a Lawyer Today
If you need legal assistance, schedule a consultation with our team. Your free initial consultation will tell you more about how an experienced attorney from Ballin, Ballin, & Fishman, PC can help you fight these charges.