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What Is Simple Assault?

A Look at Tennessee’s Assault Laws

When an individual offensively touches another person, or intimidates another to the point where they believe they will be harmed, the perpetrator is committing assault. In Tennessee, assault could be simple or aggravated, depending on the specific details of the case.

Simple Assault Explained

While aggravated assault causes serious bodily injuries or death – or involves a deadly weapon – simple assault inflicts recoverable wounds and does not involve deadly weaponry. One commits assault when they intentionally or knowingly:

  • Injure another person
  • Cause another person to fear for their safety because of a threat of imminent bodily injury
  • Cause offensive or provocative physical contact with another

Tennessee’s assault laws also punish individuals who injure others as a result of their reckless behavior. In this case, to be considered reckless, the perpetrator would be acting without explicit intent to harm another, but still with an indifference for the outcome of their actions.

Simple assault could be punished as a Class A or Class B misdemeanor. It is a Class A misdemeanor when someone causes physical harm or fear for harm. Any provocative or offensive physical contact is a Class B misdemeanor. As such, it is punished by either:

  • Class A misdemeanor: Up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500
  • Class B misdemeanor: Up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of $500

In addition to these fines and jail sentences, anyone convicted of simple assault could be required to pay restitution to the victim for the expenses they faced as a direct result of the crime. This could include reimbursing medical bills, therapy expenses, or property repairs.

If you or a loved one have been convicted of assault, contact Eldridge and Cravens, PC.