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Understanding Tennessee's rape laws and penalties

In Tennessee, there are six main charges that a defendant may face for sex crimes.
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    January 29, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Understanding Tennessee's rape laws and penalties

Article provided by Law Office of Kenneth W. Brashier
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The state of Tennessee classifies various sex crimes in multiple ways. Child pornography, prostitution and rape are all common categories of such acts. Within the category of rape, there are many different variations of charge that a person may face depending upon the circumstances of each event. The penalties associated with each form of sex crime vary as well.

State data records for 2012 show that a total of 2,032 forcible rape cases occurred throughout Tennessee. For both alleged victims and defendants, these situations have multiple ramifications. There are many levels and classifications of sex crimes including sexual battery, statutory rape, aggravated rape and more. Each carries with it a unique set of penalties and understanding the difference can be important for anyone who may be facing such charges.

Standard Tennessee rape charges and penalties

In Tennessee, there are six main charges that a defendant may face for sex crimes, as follows:
-Aggravated rape is considered a Class A felony.
-Rape of a child is considered a Class A felony.
-Rape is considered a Class B felony.
-Aggravated sexual battery is considered a Class B felony.
-Sexual battery is considered a Class E felony.
-Statutory rape is considered a Class E felony.

Class A felonies carry jail sentences between 15 and 25 years while Class B felonies carry jail sentences between eight and 12 years. People convicted of a Class E felony can face one to two years in jail.

Age guidelines for sex crimes in Tennessee

The age of consent in Tennessee is 18. That means that in order to legally consent to sexual intercourse under any set of circumstances, a person must be at least 18 years old. The legally defined minimum age for a sex crime victim is 13, meaning that under no circumstances can a person under the age of 13 consent to sexual intercourse.

For victims between the ages of 13 and 17, legal consent is only allowed if the alleged perpetrator is no more than four years older. For example, a 16-year old can be considered to have legally consented to sexual intercourse with a 20-year old but not with a 21-year old.

Tennessee does not have a minimum age for defendants. This allows the state to prosecute any alleged offender regardless of his or her age.

Proper defense is imperative

The long-term ramifications of a sex crime charge can be severe. There can be many nuances that affect a situation in this arena and the need for a good defense is critical. If you have been accused of any form of a sex crime, you should obtain a consultation with an attorney who has experience in fighting these charges.

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