What are examples of assault?

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There are many examples of assault under Tennessee criminal law. The general Tennessee law for assault, codified at Tenn. Code Ann. §39-13-101, defines assault as follows: 

(a) A person commits the crime of assault who:

(1) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; 
(2) Intentionally or knowingly causes another to reasonably fear imminent bodily injury; or 
(3) Intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another and a reasonable person would regard the contact as extremely offensive or provocative. 

Some of the more common methods of assaulting someone are punching, displaying or shooting a weapon at someone, or hitting someone with another object. In State v. Teats, No. No. M2015-00777-CCA-R3-CD, 2016 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 93 (Tenn. Crim. App. Feb. 10, 2016), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the assault conviction of a woman who pushed an off-duty police officer into a ditch and sprayed him with mace.   

More recently, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction of a man for aggravated assault when he approached a store clerk with a raised baseball bat and earlier had threatened harm to the clerk for asking him to leave the store.  State v. Fisher, No. M2017-00975-CCA-R3-CD, 2018 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 453 (Tenn. Crim. App. June 20, 2018).  

Sometimes a defendant can face multiple charges for assault. For example, in State v. Kirkland, No. E2013-02243-CCA-R3-CD, 2014 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 1106 (Tenn. Crim. App. Dec. 11, 2014), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed defendant’s two assault convictions both for punching the victim in the face and because the victim reasonably feared that the defendant might pull her pistol from her purse and shoot the victim. 

There are many ways to commit the crime of assault. If you face criminal charges for assault, contact attorney Philip Clark at PNC Law.

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(615) 785-2000