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Rape Defense Attorneys in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program, in 2018, there were approximately 42,226 reported incidents of violent crimes in Tennessee. Of those reported incidents, 2,821 were rape cases. In Tennessee, rape and sexual assault allegations are very serious offenses that can cause devastating consequences to your reputation, freedom, and your personal and professional future. If convicted, you could be facing lengthy prison time, hefty fines, sex offender registration, financial restitution to the victim, and other social ramifications.

If you or someone you know is facing rape or sexual assault allegations or charges, it is critical that you retain a skilled and aggressive Tennessee criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and outline a strong defense. With more than 40 years of combined legal experience, our knowledgeable attorneys at McCarter | East PLLC are committed to defending individuals facing sexual assault allegations and those wrongly accused of rape. We will fight vigorously to protect your rights, craft a strong legal defense, and refute the charges against you in pursuit of the best possible outcome for your case.

McCarter | East PLLC is proud to represent clients throughout Murfreesboro and Berry Hill, Tennessee.

Understanding Rape Charges in Tennessee

According to Tennessee Code Section 39-13-503, rape can be defined as an unlawful sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant or of the defendant by a victim accompanied by any of the following conditions:

  • The use of force or coercion to accomplish the act.

  • Sexual penetration is performed without the victim's consent.

  • The defendant knew the victim did not consent.

  • Sexual penetration is accomplished by fraud.

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Are There Different Types of Rape?

Yes. The law has several different definitions of rape that are recognized in the state of Tennessee. Some of the most common types of rape in Tennessee include:

Rape

Rape involves the unlawful sexual penetration of a victim by the use of force or coercion without the victim's consent. The penalty for this crime is a Class B felony, punishable by anywhere from 8 to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

Aggravated Rape

Aggravated rape involves the unlawful sexual penetration of a victim by the use of force or coercion using a weapon, thereby causing bodily injury to the victim. The penalty for this crime is a Class A felony, punishable by anywhere from 15 to 60 years in prison and a fine up to, but not exceeding, $50,000.

Statutory Rape

According to Tennessee Code Section 39-13-506, statutory rape is defined as the sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant that falls under any of the following categories:

  • Mitigated Statutory Rape - When the victim is between 15 and 17 years, and the defendant is at least four to five years older. This is considered a Class E felony. Punishable by anywhere from one to six years in prison and a fine up to, but not exceeding, $3,000.

  • Statutory Rape - The victim is between 13 and 15 years, and the defendant is four to 10 years older, or the victim is between 15 and 18 years, and the defendant is 5 to 10 years older. This is considered a Class E felony and is punishable by anywhere from one to six years in prison and a fine up to, but not exceeding, $3,000.

  • Aggravated Statutory Rape - Unlawful sexual penetration of a victim between 13 and 17 years old, and the defendant is 10+ years older. This is considered a Class D felony, and is punishable by anywhere from two to 12 years in prison and a fine up to, but not exceeding, $5,000.

Statutory Rape by an Authority Figure

This is considered a separate crime from regular statutory rape, and is defined as any unlawful sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant when:

  • The victim is between 13 and 17 years old.

  • The defendant is at least 4 years older than the victim.

  • The defendant was in a position of trust, supervision, or had discipline power, parental, or custodial authority over the victim.

The penalty for this is a Class C felony, punishable by anywhere from three to 15 years in prison and a fine up to, but not exceeding, $10,000.

Rape of a Child

The rape of a child is defined as the unlawful sexual penetration of a victim who is between 4 and 12 years old by a defendant (Tennessee Code Section 39-13-522). The punishment for this crime is a Class A felony, and is punishable by anywhere from 15 to 60 years in prison and a fine up to, but not exceeding, $50,000.

Aggravated Rape of a Child

Aggravated rape of a child is defined as the unlawful sexual penetration of a victim by a defendant when the victim is 3 years of age or younger (Tennessee Code Section 39-13-531). The penalty for this crime is a Class A felony, punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole.

How Does Tennessee Law Define Consent?

"Consent" can be described as an agreement between two people to engage in sexual activity. Any sexual activity without consent may be regarded as rape or sexual assault. In Tennessee, the age of consent is 18. This means that only someone 18 years or older can actually give consent to sex with an adult, regardless of circumstance.

Work With Experienced Rape Defense
Attorneys in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Allegations of rape, statutory rape, and other forms of rape or sexual assault can cause devastating, long-lasting consequences to your life, liberty, reputation, and future opportunities. If convicted, the defendant could be facing substantial fines, lengthy jail time, registration as a sex offender, and other social ramifications. That’s why, when defending against a rape or sexual assault charge, it is so crucial to have the right legal representation on your side to defend your rights and outline an aggressive defense strategy that aims to prove your innocence.

At McCarter | East PLLC, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive legal services and strong representation to clients facing rape and sexual assault allegations and/or charges. As experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorneys, we will investigate the details of your case and outline a personalized defense strategy aimed at helping you pursue the best possible outcome for your case. Our attorneys will fight vigorously on your side to protect your rights, attempt to prove your innocence, and do everything that we can to prevent these accusations from ruining your life.

Experienced Rape Defense Attorneys Serving Murfreesboro, TN

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with rape, contact McCarter | East PLLC today to schedule a one-on-one case consultation. Our experienced attorneys can offer you the experienced legal counsel and strong representation you need. Based in Murfreesboro, with an office just a few blocks away from the courthouse, we're proud to represent clients throughout Murfreesboro and Berry Hill, Tennessee.