Sevierville Attorneys Provide Tenacious Advocacy after a Tennessee Rape Charge
Defending Pigeon Forge, Seymour and Gatlinburg clients facing sexual assault charges
The consequences of a rape conviction are substantial and long lasting. Not only is your freedom and financial wellbeing at risk, but you could also face a lifelong sexual offender classification, along with community supervision. Rape cases can prove challenging, but an experienced Sevierville criminal defense attorney at Delius & McKenzie, PLLC can rigorously defend you. From our Sevierville office, we handle cases in Pigeon Forge, Seymour, Gatlinburg, and throughout the state.
Rape classifications in Tennessee
The Tennessee statute includes various classifications of rape depending on the specific circumstances of the incident, including:
- Rape. Sexual penetration of a person using force or coercion.
- Aggravated rape. Sexual penetration where physical injury is caused or while aided by another party.
- Statutory rape. These are classifications of rape that depend on the age of the victim.
- Rape of a child. Sexual penetration of a victim between the ages of four and 12 years old.
If you have been charged with any of these classifications of rape, we have the skill to defend you.
Defending against rape charges
Under Tennessee law, rape involves sexual penetration of a victim. The definition of penetration includes vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse. It is also defined as the insertion of any animate or inanimate object into the genitals of another. The statute requires force or coercion, which may include threats of violence. Rape is classified as a Class B felony, with a potential penalty of up to 30 years in prison, with a fine up to $25,000.
The charge of rape is upgraded to the charge of aggravated rape under certain circumstances. It still requires sexual penetration of a victim by force or conversion, but it also requires:
- Injury to the victim
- Aid of another person in committing the rape
- Knowledge that the victim was mentally or physically incapacitated at the time of the incident
Aggravated rape is classified as a Class A felony, punishable by up to 60 years in prison and a fine up to $50,000. These penalties are significant, negatively affecting your finances and freedom. It is vitally important to secure representation from an experienced Sevierville sexual assault defense lawyer at our firm.
Statutory rape charges require a diligent defense
Tennessee law also recognizes various types of statutory rape crimes. They include acts of sexual penetration when:
- The victim is between the ages of 15 and 17 years old, with a defendant who is at least four years older (Mitigated Statutory Rape).
- The victim is between 13 and 14 years old, with a defendant who is four to 10 years older (Statutory Rape).
- The victim is between 15 and 17 years old, with a defendant who is five to 10 years older (Statutory Rape).
- The victim is between 13 and 17 years old, with a defendant who is 10 years older (Aggravated Statutory Rape).
- The victim is between 13 and 17 years old, with a defendant who is at least four years older and has some level of authority, trust or supervision over the victim. The defendant used their status to facilitate sexual relations (Statutory Rape by an Authority Figure).
The potential punishments for convictions on these rape charges can range up to 15 years of imprisonment, along with a fine up to $10,000. Our attorneys understand the consequences of these charges and work closely with you to develop an effective defense.
Rape-of-child charges in Tennessee
A rape-of-a-child charge involves the sexual penetration of a victim who is aged four to 12 years old. For incidents involving children under the age of four, the charge is upgraded to aggravated rape of a child. These charges are classified as Class A felonies, punishable by a minimum incarceration of 25 years in prison, along with a fine up to $50,000. The courts may also order community supervision upon release. These cases are extreme and sensitive, and an arrest has the potential to destroy your life and reputation. We help you fight these charges.
Secure an aggressive defense against a rape charge in Tennessee courts
Any rape charge can significantly affect your personal and professional life, as well as your reputation. The Sevierville criminal defense attorneys at Delius & McKenzie, PLLC understand what is at stake, and we work hard to defend you. Please call 865-428-8780 or fill out our contact form to make an appointment. Our criminal defense attorneys are proud to serve clients in Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Seymour, and throughout Tennessee.