Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction
In Tennessee, domestic violence offenses are punishable with harsh criminal penalties. The consequences of a domestic violence conviction may also be devastating to your relationships, personal freedoms, and reputation. Nashville domestic violence lawyer Bernie McEvoy believes every person is entitled to a fair opportunity to defend against these accusations. If you have been arrested for stalking, kidnapping, or domestic violence in Davidson or Williamson County, Bernie McEvoy can work tirelessly to protect your rights and fight against a conviction.Consequences of a Tennessee Domestic Violence Offense
Domestic violence is not a stand-alone offense in Tennessee, but a category of crimes that occur between people with a relationship to each other. Domestic violence may be committed against current or former spouses or dating partners, family members by law or blood, household members, roommates, the parent of your child, and others. Domestic violence cases typically involve charges such as domestic assault and aggravated domestic assault, stalking, kidnapping, violating of a restraining order, sex crimes, and other criminal offenses.
In Tennessee, domestic assault is a class A misdemeanor offense in most situations. However, domestic assault is handled differently from other Tennessee misdemeanor offenses. These differences begin before any arrest is made and continue throughout the criminal proceedings. When the police respond to an emergency call and find probable cause of domestic violence, the officer will attempt to determine who was the primary aggressor and make an arrest. If you are arrested for a domestic violence offense, you will be required to spend a minimum of twelve hours in jail for a cooling off period. Upon your release from jail, you may be notified of a no-contact order against you, even if you have not been convicted of any crime. Failing to obey the order may result in additional criminal charges. A seasoned criminal defense lawyer can answer any questions you may have about complying with such an order.Criminal Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction
If you are charged and convicted of domestic assault, you may be sentenced to a maximum of 11 months 29 days in jail and a $200 fine. You may also be placed on supervised probation. You will be subject to routine drug testing as part of the terms of your probation, as well as court costs, fees, and other conditions. Noncompliance with the conditions of your probation may constitute a probation violation and lead to additional penalties.
There are certain penalties that are only handed down in domestic violence cases. If convicted, the judge may require that you attend a six-month batterer intervention program, counseling, and/or a drug- and alcohol-abuse treatment program. You may be ordered to perform community service or make a charitable donation to victims of domestic abuse.Life-Long Repercussions
In most domestic violence cases, the defendant will be subject to a temporary or expended order of protection, or both. Essentially, an order of protection prohibits you from making contact with the alleged victim. It may severely restrict your personal freedom as well, possibly preventing you from residing in your own home, seeing your children or pets, or going to certain locations. Both the order of protection and/or a domestic assault conviction may result in the loss of your constitutional right to possess or purchase a firearm. A conviction may also jeopardize your immigration status, if you are not a citizen of the United States.
In Tennessee, another consequence of a domestic assault conviction is that this is one of the few kinds of misdemeanors that cannot be expunged from your criminal record. This may make it difficult to rent an apartment or keep or obtain employment, particularly if the job requires that you carry a firearm. It may also result in more severe penalties for a subsequent domestic violence conviction.Seek Advice from a Domestic Violence Lawyer in Nashville
Nashville attorney Bernie McEvoy has successfully represented defendants in domestic violence cases, protection order hearings, and many other criminal proceedings. He serves areas throughout Davidson and Williamson Counties, including Franklin and Nashville. Request an appointment today by calling (615) 255-9595 or (615) 804-8779 after hours and weekends, or by submitting our online contact form.