Breaking Down Michelle Branch’s Arrest, Divorce & Dismissed Assault Charge

Michelle Branch needed a criminal attorney and a divorce attorney for incidents that occurred within a two-day span. What led to an arrest and a divorce in less than 48 hours?

Michelle Branch Arrested for Domestic Assault

On August 11, 2022, police were called to the home of Michelle Branch and her husband, The Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney. The couple, married for three years, lives in an upscale neighborhood in Forest Hills located in Nashville, Tennessee, with their children.

Court documents obtained by US Weekly described the scene.

Branch and Carney had been arguing at another location. The fight continued when they got home. The argument escalated, and Branch reportedly hit Carney in the face “one or two times.” Carney confirmed that Branch hit him. He seemed to suffer no physical injuries as police officers noted that Carney did not have visible injuries.

Branch was arrested on a misdemeanor domestic assault charge and taken into police custody. She was quickly released on the same day on $1,000 bail.

Related: If You’re Arrested for a Crime, Immediately Take These 6 Steps

Michelle Branch Announces Divorce

On August 12, 2022, shortly after returning home from jail, Branch filed for divorce from Carney.

Branch’s filing cited “irreconcilable differences.”

The same day, Branch tweeted, “Just found out my husband cheated on me … while I was home with our 6-month-old daughter.” The Tweet was later deleted.

Branch and Carney share two children, a four-year-old son and a six-month-old daughter. WKRN reported that Branch is seeking primary custody of the two children in addition to child support.

Related: 6 Ways to Prepare for Divorce Mediation

Court Dismisses Michelle Branch’s Domestic Assault Charges

Branch was arrested in Tennessee, so her case is dictated by Tennessee law. Under Tennessee law, Branch could face fines and jail time for the domestic assault charge. The Class A misdemeanor faces penalties of up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and a $15,000 fine. The Class B misdemeanor faces penalties of up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.

In Florida, domestic violence is defined under statute 741.28 as, “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.”

Under Florida law, domestic charges can lead to penalties such as:

  • Probation
  • Jail time
  • Community service
  • Loss of rights such as a concealed carry permit
  • Enrollment in Batterer’s Intervention Program (BIP)
  • No contact orders

At this time, Branch will face no legal consequences in Tennessee for the charges.

Just two weeks after Branch was arrested on the misdemeanor domestic assault charge, the case was dropped “at the request of the state.” A Nashville judge dismissed the case during an August 2022 hearing.

Related: The Best Criminal Defense Attorneys Have These 7 Qualities

Moving Forward with Divorce Proceedings

With the criminal charges out of the way, Branch can now focus back on her divorce proceedings.

Branch is seeking primary custody of the two children she shares with Carney, in addition to child support. She also requested that Carney pay her attorneys’ fees and other litigation expenses and for her to be named as a beneficiary on Carney’s life insurance.

The couple is reportedly ordered to attend a mandated parenting seminar, and Branch is seeking an agreed permanent parenting plan from the court.

As the divorce moves forward, the couple will need to work out details related to:

  • Distribution of financial assets
  • Distribution of property
  • Distribution of debts
  • Child support payments
  • Alimony payments
  • Child custody and parenting time

Related: How to Prepare for the First Meeting with a Divorce Attorney

Get Legal Representation You Can Trust

Within two days, Branch found herself needing both a divorce attorney and a criminal defense attorney. While her criminal case has been dismissed, she will now need to work through her divorce in the public eye. She’ll need a trusted attorney to guide her through the process.

Having an attorney you can trust is essential whether or not you are going through a legal matter in the public. If you find yourself needing assistance in either a civil or criminal matter, find an attorney who will fight for you.

Do you have a divorce or criminal case to discuss today? Request your free consultation with experienced attorney, TJ Grimaldi. Schedule your consultation or call 813-226-1023 today.