Assault and Battery Attorney in West Tennessee

Assault vs. Aggravated Assault: What Is the Difference?

If you are involved in an altercation in Tennessee that leads to harsh words or threats—or even physical violence with one or more persons—chances are you may be charged with assault. However, while it seems that assault is a very straightforward event, the actual legal definitions of the crime and what constitutes assault can vary. If you find yourself facing any of the following criminal charges or a combination of charges, contact our experienced assault attorneys in Tennessee at Byrd & Byrd, Attorneys at Law, PLLC as soon as possible. Mounting a defense against these charges can be confusing and complex. You should let an experienced attorney help you.

Defining assault

While the term assault often carries the popular notion that a physical act such as a punch or fight must be involved, this is not the case. Pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-13-101, someone who is charged with assault has:

  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused bodily injury to another
  • Intentionally or knowingly caused another to reasonably fear imminent bodily injury
  • Intentionally or knowingly caused physical contact with another, contact that a reasonable person would regard as extremely offensive or provocative

Knowledgeable Jackson criminal defense lawyers can review your case and provide careful advice on mounting the correct defense.

Aggravated assault

Aggravated assault is a more serious form of assault. It is the intensity of the crime that is often the basis for the more serious charge of aggravated assault. This is usually due to the presence of a deadly weapon or the level of harm that has been threatened. The charge can be applied if a person is threatening another with a gun or knife, but it may not be charged if only a stick or other non-lethal weapon is involved. Aggravated assault can also be charged if sexual violation is threatened or the extent of physical harm involves maiming the intended victim. This charge can carry stiff consequences and is best defended by a Tennessee assault attorney.


The crime of battery is contained within the Tennessee assault statutes and involves actual physical contact with another person resulting from the intent to cause physical harm or worse. Battery or battering someone can include, among others, the following actions:

  • Shoves or pushes
  • Slaps
  • Scratches
  • Punches
  • Kicks
  • Use of a weapon to batter the victim
  • Use of an everyday item, such as a baseball bat, to batter a victim

Tennessee assault and battery attorneys

Do not let the courts decide your future. Our Tennessee assault and battery lawyers help clients in Jackson and surrounding areas in Tennessee. Contact Byrd & Byrd at (731) 424-7188, toll free at (888) 793-3328 or use our email form today.