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How Long Do Most Domestic Violence Cases Last?

March 10, 2024

How Long Do Most Domestic Violence Cases Last?

In a recent year, there were over 84,000 domestic violence offenders in Tennessee. Also known as domestic abuse, domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior used by one partner to gain control over another person.

The police are often told to arrest the “primary aggressor” when receiving a domestic violence call. This is often done on little or no evidence, causing individuals to be charged erroneously.

If you have been charged with domestic violence, our Nashville domestic violence lawyers are here to offer you assistance.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is any act committed by someone to anyone in his or her domestic circle. According to Tennessee Code §39-13-111, the victim may include any of the following:

Domestic Violence Charges in Tennessee

Tennessee law defines various offenses that qualify as domestic violence, including:

Can I Go to Jail if I am Convicted for a Domestic Violence Offense?

In most situations, domestic violence is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 11 months, 29 days in jail, and a maximum fine of $2,500. This would apply if the victim felt imminent fear of bodily injury. However, if it is your second offense, you may be facing fines of up to $3,500.

If physical contact was considered extremely offensive, you may be charged with a class B misdemeanor, and you may face six months in jail and a fine of $500.

If it is alleged that you assaulted someone with a firearm or other deadly weapon or if there are physical signs of injury to the victim, then your charge may be enhanced to a felony. Depending on the circumstances, you may be charged with either a class C or class D felony.

A class C felony conviction carries a maximum sentence of 15 years and a fine no greater than $10,000. A class D felony carries potential imprisonment of up to 12 years and a maximum fine of $5,000.

How Long Will My Case Take to Resolve?

Depending on the complexity of a domestic violence case, it could last just a few weeks if the prosecutor or judge believes there are grounds to dismiss the case at the first or second setting. However, in more complex or disputed cases, it could last for up to one year or more. This is contingent upon the amount of evidence that is available, most of which will come out during the discovery process in preparation for trial.

The trial process itself could take the longest amount of time for a number of reasons, including if the court docket is backlogged, the number of motions made, or if the prosecution has a number of witnesses to call to the stand.

Bear in mind that Tennessee law does set a time limit in which a victim can bring a claim to court following an incident. The “clock” begins ticking when the incident occurred. This can be as short as a year for misdemeanors or several years for felonies.

Contact a Nashville Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer

Domestic violence encompasses a wide range of offenses. If you have been arrested or charged with domestic violence, our legal team is here to help. Contact us online or by calling 615-256-6666 to schedule your complimentary consultation.