Tennessee Law Series: Assault, Burglary, and Capital Punishment

 In Criminal Law

Over the next few weeks, we are going to begin a series on Tennessee Law. Each state has the ability to put different laws into place in addition to the federal laws that apply to all 50 states. We’re going to cover a variety of laws and what they mean, including the state of Tennessee’s stance of those laws.


Assault is the act of physically touching or intimidating someone in a way that is harmful to them. Tennesee’s assault laws cover offenses of both assault and aggravated assault. The difference between the two is that one is lesser than the other. Assault is typically charged as a misdemeanor, whereas aggravated assault is more often a felony. If any assault was committed intentionally or planned, the results of that are worse than those of recklessness. Intentionally assaulting someone involves:

  • serious bodily harm to another
  • death of another
  • use or display of a deadly weapon
  • strangulation or attempted strangulation

Reckless assault includes:

  • serious bodily harm to another
  • death of another
  • use or display of a deadly weapon

Burglary, Theft, Robbery

All of these topics sound the same, but in fact, have their differences. Burglary is when someone enters a structure or dwelling with the intent to commit a crime within in. You can be convicted without committing a crime within the building. Theft goes by names like larceny, petty theft, or grand left. This is when someone takes someone elses property without the owner’s consent. Shoplifting is an example of theft. Robbery is taking something that doesn’t belong to you and using force to do so. This happens when someone directly steals from another person and uses violence to do so. All three charges considered felonies in the state of Tenessee.

Capital Punishment

Capital punishment is a law that is left to the states. Each state is permitted to have their own capital punishment laws. Capital punihsment is allowed in the state of Tennessee with the minimum age being 18. Some of the requirements to meet capital punishment include:

  • Offender over 18 years of age
  • Victim under 12 years of age, 70 or older, or particulary vulnerable due to disability
  • Previous felony convictions
  • Great risk of death to multiple persons, other than victim
  • Especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel crimes
  • Avoiding lawful arrest of defendant or another
  • Connection with any first degree murder, arson, assult, robbery, bulgarly, thefy, kidnapping, piracy, bombing

To learn more about different laws in the state of Tennessee please contact Slaughter Law Firm. If you have been convicted or a victim of a crime, our attorney Frankie Slaughter Jr. can help. With over 22 years of experience, Mr. Slaughter has been assisting in cases varying in degree or area of law. To schedule an appointment, you can visit us online here or call us at  (423) 844-0560 today!