Penalties in Sex Crime Cases
Tennessee sex crime offenses are punishable by some of the toughest penalties in the nation. A conviction for a sexual offense in Tennessee may carry prison time, hefty fines, and/or mandatory registration as a sex offender, among other penalties. If you are charged with a sex crime, you can fight the allegations with the assistance of legal counsel. Nashville sex crime lawyer Bernie McEvoy has represented individuals accused of rape, child pornography, and other sexual offenses in Davidson and Williamson County. He can answer any questions you may have about the potential penalties in sex crime cases as well as potential defenses to sex offense charges.Penalties in Sex Crime Cases in Tennessee
Generally, the penalties for a conviction of a sexual offense may include incarceration, fines, probation, court-ordered counseling, and/or community service. Many felony sex offenses are punishable by mandatory minimum sentences, which require the defendant to serve the minimum sentence for a conviction. The defendant may also face enhanced penalties for a sex crime that involves certain factors, such as when the defendant holds a position of authority or trust over the victim. In addition to criminal penalties, a felony conviction may result in the loss of some civil rights, including the right to possess a firearm. A sex crime conviction has further consequences, such as registration and reporting obligations, if the defendant qualifies as a sex offender.
Almost every sexual assault crime in Tennessee is categorized as a felony offense. Sentencing guidelines provide the range of penalties that may be imposed for a felony conviction in Tennessee. All felony crimes, including felony sex offenses, are classified from A through E. The class of felony determines the appropriate sentencing guidelines for the defendant in a particular case. The number of prior convictions, if any, may also affect sentencing guidelines. The penalty range for a Class A felony, such as aggravated rape and rape of a child, is 15 to 60 years in prison with maximum $50,000 fine. Class B felonies include rape and aggravated sexual battery, and are punishable by 8 to 30 years in prison and fine up to $25,000. If convicted of a Class C felony offense, such as sexual battery by an authority figure, the defendant may face a prison sentence of 3 to 15 years and fine up to $10,000. A Class D felony is punishable by incarceration for 2 to 12 years and maximum $5,000 fine. Class E felonies are punishable by up to 6 years in prison and fine up to $3,000. Sexual battery and statutory rape are two examples of Class E felony offenses.Effect of Plea Bargaining on Penalties
It is possible to have some control over the potential penalties in a sex crime case through plea bargaining. In a plea agreement, the defendant agrees to plead guilty rather than allowing a judge or jury to decide the outcome of the case. In return, the prosecution may reduce the charges or seek a lighter sentence. Plea agreements must be approved by the court to be given affect. In general, the penalties arising from a plea agreement are less severe than the maximum sentence that may be imposed for a guilty verdict in a sex crime case. A criminal defense attorney can assist in evaluating whether a plea deal may be favorable in a specific sex crime case.Confer with a Nashville Lawyer About Penalties in Sex Crime Cases
A criminal defense attorney can explain the complete range of penalties that may be imposed in a specific case. With three decades of legal experience, Bernie McEvoy can provide skilled defense representation against criminal charges for sexual battery, solicitation, statutory rape, and other sex crimes. He can advise individuals located throughout Davidson and Williamson Counties, particularly in Nashville and Franklin. Request a free consultation by calling the Law Office of Bernie McEvoy at (615) 255-9595 during business hours or (615) 804-8779 on evenings and weekends, or by contacting us online.