Tennessee Criminal Attorney Blog
July 12, 2014

Domestic Violence Front and Center in Nashville


Domestic Violence victims as well as advocacy groups have been voicing their concern with Domestic Violence laws and procedures. Currently, those laws in place might be changing and powers of the judiciary limited. Recently, a Nashville developer was arrested for domestic assault against his ex-girlfriend. Being somewhat known and arrested is not the story here. The story is that he was released from jail earlier than expected and went back and assaulted the victim again that same morning. In a domestic assault case the accused is supposed to be held in custody for 12 hours before being released on bond, this is known as a “cooling-off” period. In this case a judge had waived the 12 hour “cooling-off” period and deemed it not a domestic case due to bad information. Waiving the 12 hour “cooling-off” period is not uncommon and is up to the Night Court commissioner. Since domestic violence can be an array of offenses each domestic violence case is different. Case law does not set out guidelines, so the Night Court commissioner has to examine the facts for each case differently. Legislatures now want to take that power away from judges and make the law more stringent when dealing with domestic violence cases.

Being charged with a domestic crime is a serious offense. Some domestic crimes are felonies and can carry lengthy prison sentences as well as large fines, domestic violence treatment programs, community service, and more. Individuals charged with a domestic crime have the right to hire an experienced attorney for representation. If you or someone you know has been charged with a domestic crime call immediately 615-308-5405 for a free consultation. Also note that if convicted of a domestic crime you are prohibited from possessing a firearm under law.

Take a look at the Tennessee statute defining Domestic Assault and relationship:

39-13-111. Domestic assault.

(a) As used in this section, domestic abuse victim means any person who falls within the following categories:
(1) Adults or minors who are current or former spouses;
(2) Adults or minors who live together or who have lived together;
(3) Adults or minors who are dating or who have dated or who have or had a sexual relationship, but does not include fraternization between two (2) individuals in a business or social context;
(4) Adults or minors related by blood or adoption;
(5) Adults or minors who are related or were formerly related by marriage; or
(6) Adult or minor children of a person in a relationship that is described in subdivisions (a)(1)-(5).
(b) A person commits domestic assault who commits an assault as defined in § 39-13-101 against a domestic abuse victim.
(c) (1) Domestic assault is punishable the same as assault in § 39-13-101.

*** Please note that domestic crimes encompass many other offenses.