You probably saw or read in recent news that Andruw Jones
, formerly of the Atlanta Braves, was arrested and charged with domestic assault
. Just slightly behind DUI's in the number of calls we get from citizens in Mt. Juliet, Lebanon, and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, are calls related to arrest for domestic assault. Like DUI
offenses, domestic assault charges receive additional political and public attention. While the seriousness of these crimes is certainly important, potential punishments related to the charge also come with the implementation of “special rules” that affect the citizen accused before a person is proven guilty. These special rules create real problems for the citizen accused, and result in unfairness and constitutional violations.
While the Tennessee Constitution specifically states every person accused of a crime should be granted reasonable bail
, except for a capital offense (1st Degree Murder), persons accused of domestic assault are held without bail for 12 hours on almost every occasion. That is 12 hours of jail time before the person every sees the inside of a courtroom, a judge, let alone a trial by jury on the accusation. In addition, when the person is released from jail, the release is also conditioned on not physically being near or contacting the alleged victim in any manner.
These conditions of release
often place the citizen accused with the prohibition of being unable to return to their own home because the alleged victim is living at the same residence as a courtesy, or that the alleged victim is the parent of the accused citizen’s children. An additional consequence of being accused of this crime is not being able to go near, contact or even talk to their own children. No soccer practice, no games, no activities, not even an “I Love You” through the grandparents.
The result is an individual may be, without a trial or hearing of any kind, thrown out of their own home, held in jail for an extended time, and prevented from seeing their own children. Because of these grave restrictions, unfortunately, people have learned how to manipulate and abuse these laws. The allegation of domestic assault is used on many occasions as a tool in a divorce
to force the opposing party out of the home and put the accusing party in custody
of the children. Orders of Protection
are often sought also in conjunction with the domestic assault charge or a divorce, which can also result in further restrictions on home and contact with children. The accused can immediately be placed in a defensive situation, not only in a divorce but in a criminal proceeding, over the most minuscule of allegations.
Always be leery of a proposed law that deal with a specific crime in way different than other laws and provides significant sanctions BEFORE there is a trial or hearing. When the sanctions come only from the story of one side, injustices will occur.
As Tennessee criminal attorney
, I have been representing people accused of domestic assault for 20 years. From Nashville to Murfreesboro, Cookeville to Lebanon, Mt. Juliet to Gallatin, and most all other Middle Tennessee cities, I have helped Tennessee citizens fight for their constitutional rights when charged with this offense. In addition to assisting you with the criminal charges that result from these allegations, our firm can assist you with Orders of Protection and Divorce Proceedings that generally coincide with the institutional of criminal charges
I invite you to research our firm
further and trust you will find knowledgeable and competent attorneys with the experience to handle your unique situation. I will gladly sit down with you to discuss the serious legal issues arising from domestic assault charges, or any other criminal charges, facing you or a loved one and what can be done to help you.
~ Frank Lannom