What is considered offensive touching?

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Offensive touching is touching that offends a reasonable person’s sense of dignity or propriety. Some forms of offensive touching may constitute the crime of assault under the crime of assault under Tennessee law, particularly if the touching was intentional or knowing and reasonably considered “extremely offensive or provocative.” 

Tennessee’s law for assault, codified at Tenn. Code Ann. §39-13-101, defines assault as follows: 

Thus, to constitute the crime of assault, the defendant would have to knowingly or intentionally engage in the offensive contact. Furthermore, the victim would have to reasonably “regard the contact as extremely offensive or provocative.” 

The Tennessee Supreme Court explained in State v. Smiley, 38 S.W.3d 521 (Tenn. 2001) that the concept of offensive contact refers to “contact that offends a personal sense of dignity.” The state high court listed three examples of offensive contact: “kissing without one’s consent, cutting one’s hair without consent, or spitting in one’s face.” Id. at 525 The court wrote: “We find such examples indicative of what is meant by extremely offensive or provocative contact.” Id.  

If you face assault charges because of alleging offensive touching or contact, immediately contact attorney Philip Clark at PNC Law. Philip Clark is an experienced criminal defense attorney who will provide you with a vigorous defense.

Connect with Philip N. Clark right away!
(615) 785-2000