Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction

Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction

There are many consequences under Tennessee law if a person is convicted of a domestic violence offense.   Not only is the convicted person not allowed to contact the abused family member but also the person will suffer significant criminal penalties.   There also are other collateral consequences for suffering a domestic violence conviction. 

Criminal Penalties

            The crime of domestic assault consists of an assault against a family member or with an adult that the person lives with.[1]  The punishment for a first-time offense for domestic assault is either a Class A or Class B misdemeanor.[2]   Subsequent convictions for domestic assault carry even more significant criminal penalties, including increased fines and more jail time.[3]  For example, a second conviction for domestic assault carries mandatory imprisonment of at least 30 days in the county workhouse and up to 11 months and 29 days imprisonment.[4]

Those convicted of a domestic violence offense also may have to attend a “batterer’s intervention program” that has been certified by the domestic violence state coordinating council.[5]  “The purpose of the coordinating council is to increase the awareness and understanding of domestic and family violence and its consequences and to reduce the incidence of domestic and family violence within the state.”[6]

Sometimes, those convicted of domestic violence offenses must attend such a program as a form of alternative sentencing instead of serving time in the county workhouse. If a defendant is sentenced to this type of alternative sentencing, he or she must complete the entire program.[7]   If the domestic violence offense involves strangulation or attempted strangulation, then the defendant will have to attend such a domestic violence program.[8]

            Criminal penalties only increase once the type of crime committed increases.  For example, if a person commits a domestic violence offense that is classified as aggravated assault, rather than assault, the penalties are more severe.   If you face criminal charges involving domestic violence, then you must secure the services of a criminal defense attorney, such as Nashville-based lawyer Philip Clark. 

Other Consequences

            If you are convicted of an act of domestic violence, then the family member or close person who was the victim can seek an order of protection.  This order of protection could be long-lasting if you are convicted of an act of domestic violence.  This means that the conviction can keep you away from your loved ones.  You might also face parental termination proceedings, if you committed domestic assault against your child.  Such conduct would be considered child abuse or perhaps even severe child abuse. 

Consequences with Regards to Firearms

A conviction for domestic violence has a palpable impact on gun possession and gun ownership.  For one, the person will never be able to purchase another firearm and has to remove all existing firearms from their home.  Tennessee law provides that “from the moment of conviction for a domestic violence offense, the defendant will never again be able to lawfully possess or buy a firearm of any kind.”[9]  Tennessee law also states that “a defendant convicted of a domestic violence offense also must lawfully dispose of all firearms in the defendant’s possession at the time of the conviction.”[10]

Contact Attorney Philip Clark of PNC Law 

Needless to say, if you are charged with a domestic violence charge, such as assault or aggravated assault, then you need an experienced criminal defense attorney.   An experienced criminal defense attorney is necessary for you to fight these charges effectively. The attorney may be able to make a variety of defenses, such as a self-defense claim or challenge the veracity of  the alleged victim’s accusations.     

Nashville-based attorney Philip N. Clark of PNC Law is just such an experienced attorney.  He is a zealous advocate on behalf of his clients.  Furthermore, he has nearly twenty (20) years of experience as a former Metro police officer.  He may be able to assert a variety of defenses on your behalf.  If you face domestic violence charges, contact attorney Philip Clark at (615) 678-1033 or e-mail him at

[1] Tenn. Code Ann. §39-13-111.

[2] Tenn. Code Ann. §39-13-101.

[3] Tenn. Code Ann. §39-13-111(c).

[4] Tenn. Code Ann. §39-13-111(c)(2)

[5] Tenn. Code Ann. §39-13-111(d).

[6] Tenn. Code Ann. §38-12-102.

[7] Tenn. Code Ann. §39-13-111(d).

[8] Tenn. Code Ann. §39-13-111(f).

[9] Tenn. Code Ann. §40-14-109(b)(1).

[10] Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-14-109(b)(2).