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Who may be liable for domestic violence in Tennessee?

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Domestic violence continues to persist and causes related incidents, says the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). Although it usually involves couples and families, those with romantic or familial relations are not the only ones who may experience domestic violence.

Possible offenders

In 2021, there were 67,590 domestic violence victims in the state. Most of them were in a romantic relationship, followed by spouses, parents, children and siblings. Among the other victims were in-laws, stepchildren, grandparents and grandchildren.

According to Tennessee law, a possible offender may be an adult or a minor in any of these relationships with the alleged victim:

  • Current or former roommates or housemates
  • Those in a romantic relationship or former flames
  • Presently married couples or divorced spouses
  • Those related by blood, marriage or adoption

Meanwhile, the law excludes fraternal relations in the domestic violence criteria. Examples of fraternal relationships are those formed in social or business contexts.

Physical harm

Physical abuse is the most common type of domestic assault. The TBI reported that personal weapons like hands, feet and teeth were the most used weapons. Other usual weapons were dangerous weapons and firearms.

Moreover, domestic violence does not just involve physical attacks. It also includes physical restraint and an attempt to cause physical injury.

Other abuses

Making threats to harm the victim or their pet animal is another form of abuse. The victim must be in fear of suffering physical harm.

In addition, causing “malicious damage” to the victim’s personal property is a valid reason for domestic violence. An example is causing physical injury on a pet or even just attempting to do so.

Facing a domestic violence charge

Domestic violence does not just inflict pain or fear, it may also cause relationships to sour or end. If you are facing a domestic violence charge, you have the right to build a strong defense against it with legal support. A charge is not yet a conviction, and you may challenge the accusation and present your side of the story.

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