Nashville Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer

Domestic violence is a serious problem throughout the country. It’s an endemic that can affect both men and women and often occurs within the confines of our homes or private spaces where there are few witnesses or little in the way of proof of what happened. This also makes it prone to false accusations and unwarranted criminal charges.

If you have been accused of domestic violence, it’s critical to consult with an experienced Nashville domestic violence defense lawyer. At Nash Law, our Nashville, TN domestic violence lawyers have over 20 years of combined experience. We have successfully helped many clients navigate and overcome serious domestic violence charges.

Call our experienced Nashville criminal defense attorneys today at 615-NASH-LAW.

Table of Contents

What is Domestic Violence?

Legally speaking, domestic violence is any physical or sexual abuse directed towards a family member or a person the abuser has a close relationship with, such as in a marriage, dating, or cohabiting. The behavior is typically used to exert control and power over a partner.

Domestic violence can be physical, psychological, sexual, and financial. It can include frightening, intimidating, or manipulative behaviors. It can also happen to anyone, no matter their age, gender, religion, race, and sexual orientation.

Examples of domestic violence include the following:

  • Physical – abuse towards the victim, which involves hitting, shoving, biting, punching, slapping, or strangling.
  • Psychological –  abuse through actions aimed at causing the victim to fear them through the use of threat of harm to the victim, their children, or other family members.
  • Emotional – abuse that involves demeaning criticism or verbal attacks aimed at lowering the victim’s self-esteem.
  • Sexual – abuse that occurs when the abuser forces or tries to force the victim into non-consensual sexual contact or sexual behavior.
  • Economic – abuse that entails controlling the victim’s or the household’s finances in such a way that the victim is financially dependent on the abuser.

Some abusers may use technology like tracking devices, social media, etc. to enhance their efforts of psychological or emotional abuse. They may even engage in stalking behaviors aimed at isolating and controlling the victim’s freedom of movement.

What Are the Legal Elements of Domestic Violence?

In Tennessee, domestic violence is considered domestic assault. The law defines assault as:

  • Knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another.
  • Knowingly causing another person to reasonably fear imminent bodily injury.
  • Knowingly causing physical contact with another person, where a reasonable person would consider the contact as extremely provocative or offensive.

Although both men and women can be victims of domestic violence, public perception tends to assume that men are the abusers in relationships. Fortunately, in court, public perception isn’t enough to establish domestic violence has occurred.

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The job of a Nashville domestic violence defense lawyer is to poke holes in the prosecutor’s case. While the job of a prosecutor typically has to demonstrate that the violence occurred beyond a reasonable doubt.

This generally involves proving key legal elements as outlined below:

Relationship between the defendant and the victim

The difference between ordinary assault and domestic violence is the existence of a close relationship between the defendant and the victim. If there was no such relationship, it wouldn’t be considered domestic violence.

Nature and extent of the alleged abuse

For it to be considered domestic violence, there must have been an intent to cause physical or psychological harm to the victim. If there was no intent, the prosecution can’t legally prove domestic violence.

Evidence supporting the allegations

The prosecution must demonstrate that the domestic violence against the victim occurred beyond a reasonable doubt and that the action was intended to cause harm. For example, throwing an object at someone is still assault even if it misses or unintentionally hits someone else.

Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges

Besides arguing that the prosecution has not adequately proved all the elements, the accused person has several other defenses available to them. A Nashville domestic violence defense lawyer could use some of the following defense, as outlined below:

Self-defense or defense of others

If you are protecting yourself or a loved one in the household, you can use reasonable force to stop an attack. However, you can’t argue self-defense if you started or escalated the incident.

False accusations

A person in your household could falsely accuse you for many reasons. Perhaps they’re angry at you or want to influence a child custody battle in divorce proceedings. Either way, if this is the case, your Nashville domestic violence defense lawyer can help uncover inconsistencies in the accuser’s story and ensure you become acquitted.

Insufficient evidence

In some cases, the prosecution’s evidence is simply not enough to bring a convincing case against you. Your Nashville domestic violence defense lawyer can challenge their evidence and show it doesn’t add up.

How Can a Nashville Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Can Help

Domestic violence cases tend to involve a lot of he-said-she-said situations. Having a good domestic violence attorney can be the difference between winning and losing the case. Whether you are guilty and have the absolute right to zealous representation or have been wrongly accused and want to set the record straight, get a lawyer as soon as possible.

A Nashville domestic violence defense lawyer can help you understand the charges brought against you and guide you through every step of the way. We investigate every aspect of your case and collect evidence to support your claim. Based on the circumstances of your case, we can poke holes in the other side’s story, and ensure your case is successful.

What Are the Legal Consequences of Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence charges range in severity. Most are Class A Misdemeanors. However, if the accused has a prior conviction for domestic violence, the charges may be elevated to a level 6 felony. In case a child under the age of 16 witnessed the violence, it may also elevate the charges to level 6 felony.

Class A Misdemeanors carry up to a year of incarceration and fines not exceeding $5,000. A level 6 felony conviction can result in 6 months to 2.5 years of incarceration and fines not exceeding $10,000. If other aggravating factors exist, they could add more jail time and higher fines.

It’s worth noting that in some cases, the abuser might have to pay restitution to the victim for medical treatment and other damages. The court may also mandate the abuser to complete certain programs, such as anger management programs and substance abuse rehabilitation.

There may be other consequences as well, such as restraining orders that force the abuser to vacate a residence shared with the victim, and a ban from any form of communication with them. There may also be a prospect of a permanent criminal record along with other rules and restrictions.

Ensuring your rights are protected and you get the rigorous legal representation you are entitled to, get in touch with a Nashville domestic violence defense lawyer today.

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Talk to a Nashville Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Today

Domestic violence can ruin families, impart serious psychological damage, and cause serious physical injuries. If you are accused of domestic violence, it’s important to understand your legal options. False domestic violence allegations can ruin your life, and it’s important to defend yourself against such claims.

The Nashville domestic violence defense lawyers at Nash Law represent the accused persons. Call our Nashville, TN office today to schedule a case evaluation with us. We will review your situation, provide legal guidance, and help protect your rights.

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