Accusations of rape can have devastating repercussions for everyone involved. If you are facing charges for rape or any other sex crime, such as child pornography, Bernie McEvoy can provide you with compassionate and honest legal advice. As a Nashville rape defense lawyer, Bernie McEvoy understands that in rape cases, protecting a defendant’s right to fair and impartial legal proceedings is essential. He has the dedication and experience to defend people against rape allegations in Davidson and Williamson Counties.Tennessee Rape Laws
There are several distinct offenses outlined in the Tennessee criminal code that pertain to rape. Apart from certain specific crimes, such as statutory rape, aggravated rape, and rape of a child, rape is a standalone offense under Tennessee law. It is defined as unlawful sexual penetration, which occurs under any of the four circumstances listed in the statute. Specifically, rape is committed when force or coercion is used to accomplish sexual penetration. Rape is also committed when sexual penetration is accomplished without the consent of the other person, and the defendant knows or has reason to know that the person did not consent at the time that the act occurred. In addition, sexual penetration of a person whom the defendant knows or has reason to know is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless is considered rape under the statute. Finally, rape is committed when the sexual penetration is accomplished by fraud.
Understanding the nuances of the law is important for a rape defense attorney in the Nashville area who is developing a strategy for a specific defendant. Many of the terms used in Tennessee statutes have legal definitions that differ from the common, everyday meaning of the word. For example, coercion as used in the context of rape is defined under Tennessee law as the threat of kidnapping, extortion, force, or violence, as well as the use of parental, custodial, or official authority over a child who is less than 15 years old.Defending Against Rape Accusations
Rape is a Class B felony in Tennessee. A conviction is punishable by a prison sentence of 8 to 30 years and a fine of up to $25,000. In addition, the defendant will be required to register as a sex offender in Tennessee. If the circumstances alleged in the case constitute a more serious rape offense, the penalties may be greater. For example, using a weapon or causing a bodily injury during a rape constitutes aggravated rape, a Class A felony punishable by a 15- to 60-year prison sentence and a maximum $50,000 fine. With these severe penalties at stake, mounting a strong defense against a rape accusation is crucial.
However, a Tennessee rape defense attorney often can expose potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence. In a rape case, the prosecution has the burden to prove that there was unlawful sexual penetration, committed with intent, knowledge, or recklessness, and accompanied by either: (1) force or coercion; (2) lack of consent; (3) knowledge, or reason to know, on the part of the defendant that the victim is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless; or (4) fraud. If the prosecution fails to prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt at trial, the jury must find the defendant not guilty. Consequently, the defense will typically present any evidence or witness testimony that casts a reasonable doubt on the prosecution‘s case. Other possible defense strategies may involve issues related to consent, the credibility of the accuser, or mistaken identity, depending on the specific facts of the case.Enlist a Skilled Nashville Lawyer to Defend Against Rape Allegations
During more than 25 years of legal experience, criminal defense attorney Bernie McEvoy has shown his sincere commitment to protecting the rights of people charged with serious offenses. He has advocated for defendants in Franklin and Nashville as well as many other areas of Davidson and Williamson Counties. Schedule a free consultation with a rape defense lawyer in Nashville today by calling the Law Office of Bernie McEvoy at (615) 255-9595 during business hours or (615) 804-8779 after hours, or by submitting our online contact form. Bernie McEvoy is qualified to handle misdemeanor and felony charges ranging from sex crimes to drug crimes and DUIs.