You and the boys had been planning it for months — a college reunion road trip to Nashville. You may be in your forties, but you still know how to party. Unfortunately, the only way your wives would let you go is if you took them along. Instead of being a calming influence, their wild dancing caught a bit too much attention from a bunch of drunken medics on a bachelor party. One thing led to another, and before you knew it, a fight broke out, and now you are sitting in a cell charged with assault.

Tennessee law dividends assault into three categories:

  • Class B misdemeanor: You could face up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $500. You did not cause an injury, but you made physical contact that was either offensive or provocative. Pushing someone, for example, or poking your finger in their face.
  • Class A misdemeanor: You could face up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. You injured someone or threatened to harm them. For example, giving someone a black eye or telling them you are going to break every bone in their body if you see them looking at your wife again.
  • Reckless aggravated assault. Class D felony: You could face two to 12 years in prison. You caused a serious injury or death without meaning to. Maybe you pushed them, and they fell back through the bar window, cutting an artery and almost bleeding to death. Showing a weapon or using it could also count.
  • Intentional aggravated assault. Class C felony: You could face three to 15 years in prison. You caused serious injury or death, and you intended to. Perhaps you stabbed them or gouged their eye. Again, displaying your weapon or using it could count.

If your weekend trip to Nashville landed you in custody, seek legal help from a local attorney experienced in defending tourists. Otherwise, you could be staying a lot longer than anticipated.