Nashville Domestic Violence Attorney
Matt Stephens is a Nashville domestic violence attorney dedicated to defending the rights of individuals accused of domestic violence. As a former prosecutor, he recognizes the significance of a quality defense when it comes to protecting your rights in a domestic violence case.
In Tennessee, domestic violence refers to a number of different crimes and generally encompasses all crimes of violence when the people involved fit into one of the following categories:
- Adults or minors who are current or former spouses;
- Adults or minors who live together or who have lived together;
- Adults or minors who are dating or who have dated or who have or had a sexual relationship, but does not include fraternization between two (2) individuals in a business or social context;
- Adults or minors related by blood or adoption;
- Adults or minors who are related or were formerly related by marriage; or
- Adult or minor children of a person in a relationship that is described in subdivisions (a)(1)-(5).
An assault wherein the parties fit into one of the above-referenced categories becomes a domestic assault. The distinction between assault and domestic assault is of particular importance because the consequences of conviction can be devastating for domestic assault. Not only does conviction lead to being labeled a domestic abuser, there are harsh penalties including the loss of the right to own or possess a firearm. In addition, there are certain circumstances, in which the law requires mandatory jail time.
One of the biggest mistakes we see individuals facing domestic assault charges make is the assumption that the alleged victim can simply decide not to prosecute. Unfortunately, once the charge has been initiated, the decision of whether to prosecute has been transferred to the State of Tennessee. In recent years, the national focus on domestic violence has resulted in the State dedicating considerable resources to the prosecution of domestic violence-related crimes. While an alleged victim may be able to offer input or admit to having provided false information, the State will ultimately decide whether to proceed with prosecution. Therefore, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced attorney to make sure that your rights are protected.
Matt Stephens is a former Nashville prosecutor and statewide special prosecutor with extensive experience in handling domestic violence cases. Mr. Stephens has handled all levels of domestic-related charges, including but not limited to misdemeanor domestic assault, harassment, stalking, vandalism, false imprisonment, kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated domestic assault, child abuse, aggravated child abuse, and domestic-related homicide. He is an aggressive litigator and compassionate counselor. For more information about Matt Stephens, please click on the below link.
Domestic Violence Crimes:
- Domestic Assault
- Aggravated Domestic Assault
- Aggravated Domestic Assault (Strangulation)
- Aggravated Stalking
- Violation of Order of Protection
- Aggravated Kidnapping
- Especially Aggravated Kidnapping
Tennessee Code Annotated Section 39-13-111 defines the offense of domestic assault. For more information, you may review the statute at this link.