Lee Davis: Tennessee Stats Concerning For Domestic Violence

Thursday, October 04, 2012
Lee Davis
Lee Davis
October is observed as Domestic Violence Awareness Month nationwide and according to a recent study, Tennesseans need to be more aware. A new study by the Violence Policy Center found Tennessee ranks fifth in the country when it comes to the number of women being murdered by men in domestic violence situations.

Domestic violence charges can result from a number of instances including domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battery, emotional abuse, economic deprivation, child abuse, sexual assault, and stalking. There are many serious charges that can result from a misunderstanding or from an unfortunate escalation of emotions during an argument.

The penalties for a domestic violence charge in Tennessee can be life altering.
Domestic assault is a Class A Misdemeanor, meaning it carries a maximum jail sentence is 11 months 29 days in jail and a maximum fine of $200. It is common for domestic abuse convictions to result in restraining orders, loss of child custody rights, criminal penalties, fines, and a tarnished reputation. Along with jail time, a conviction will also carry supervised probation. The probation will last for 11 months 29 days, although shorter probation periods are up to the discretion of the judge or prosecutor. As part of the conditions of probation, the defendant will be subject to regular and random drug screens and have to pay probation fees and court costs on schedule, which can be as much as $100 per month.

With a domestic assault conviction, the defendant has a prohibition on owning or possessing any firearms, including hunting rifles. If you are employed as a police officer, security guard or other profession where you must carry a firearm, a conviction can thus mean a loss of employment. It may prevent you from getting a job or an apartment.

The state has attempted to reduce the numbers of domestic violence incidents but experts say a common strategy employed elsewhere, merely increasing jail time for perpetrators, will be difficult to institute in Tennessee. Increased jail time supposedly helps because research shows that the perpetrator, once released, goes out and finds another victim and the cycle begins anew. The problem with increasing sentences here is that the state is already spending millions holding existing criminals in overcrowded prisons and cannot afford the millions more it would take to substantially increase domestic violence sentences.

Source: “Is Southern Culture Behind Domestic Violence Increase?,” published at NewsChannel5.com.

(Lee Davis is a Chattanooga attorney who can be reached at lee@davis-hoss.com or at 266-0605.)


La-Z-Boy Receives Commissioner's Award Of Excellence For Safety, Health

Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced that La-Z-Boy, Inc. located in Dayton was chosen to receive the Commissioner’s Award of Excellence for Workplace Safety and Health.  "La-Z-Boy, Inc. has demonstrated strong commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace," said Commissioner Phillips, who presented the award ... (click for more)

Community Support Needed For Local Food Banks

Local food banks are preparing for the upcoming school year and the fight against childhood hunger. BI-LO has launched the Summer Backpack Hunger Relief Program in all stores to help children who don’t know from where their next meal will come from.  Customers are encouraged to donate at any store register through August 19 to help provide meals for healthy minds and bodies ... (click for more)

DA Looking Into Issue Of County Commission Candidate's Campaign Sending Filled-Out Requests For Absentee Ballot To Elderly Voters

The District Attorney's Office has been provided with documents that a County Commission candidate's campaign sent filled-out requests for absentee ballots to elderly voters. Kerry Steelman, election administrator, said there have been four instances in which such requests came from the Elect John Brooks campaign. He said state law says in Section 2-6-202:  (3) A person ... (click for more)

Graham Says County School-City Lawsuit Settlement "Stinks," But County Commission Approves It

The County Commission on Wednesday approved a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Hamilton County Schools against the city of Chattanooga, though several commissioners said they were not happy with the deal and Commissioner Joe Graham said it "stinks." Commissioner Graham was the lone no vote. He was joined by Commissioner Tim Boyd in a failed effort to defer it a week. ... (click for more)

Pickle Ball? - And Response

Collegedale has done some wonderful things for its residents.  The Greenway is a perfect example of money well spent on helping to give her residents the opportunity to improve their lives, at least from a health standpoint. Having taught at Wolftever Creek for a decade plus, I was fortunate to have opportunity to take my classes on walks from time to time.  It provided ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Say It Ain't So, Larry Joe!

Larry Joe Wheelon, the tainted horse trainer who was charged with 18 counts of aggravated animal cruelty when his barn was raided in April of 2013 and some animals were sored so badly that they could barely walk, finally went to a court hearing in Blount County on Wednesday and his steps toward Judge Tammy Harrington’s bench were decidedly heavy. My goodness, yours would have been ... (click for more)