Sexual assault crimes carry some of the heaviest penalties in the criminal justice system, both in the immediate and the future. While the immediate penalties include massive prison sentences, future penalties can include registration as a sex offender and a loss of privacy.
Definition and Penalties
The state of Tennessee defines sexual assault as any non-consensual act of sexual conduct. Anyone under the age of 18 qualifies as a child in the eyes of the law, which prohibits them from consenting to sexual conduct; as such, sexual assault crimes on children generally get classified as statutory rape.
• Class A Felony
Sexual assault crimes classified as a Class A felony carry a penalty of prison time ranging from 15 to 60 years in prison and a maximum fine of $50,000. For aggravated rape of a minor, this classification can also lead to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
• Class B Felony
Prison time for a Class B felony ranges from 8 to 30 years and a maximum fine of $25,000.
• Class C Felony
Class C convictions carry a prison stretch of 3 to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Note: Statutory Rape by an Authority Figure convicted offenders aren’t eligible for probation or judicial diversion
• Class D Felony
Two to 12 years in prison and a $5,000 fine for Class D felonies.
• Class E Felony
Prison time ranges from one to six years in prison and a $3,000 fine.
Some Clarifications Regarding Crimes Against Children
Tennessee law enforces a minimum jail time of 25 years for any crimes involving the rape of a child. Once the term has been served, the convicted felon can be released but will be prohibited from petitioning for a release from community supervision after 15 years.
Crimes classified as Aggravated Rape of a Child results in a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Some leeway does exist for crimes committed by juveniles, but in those cases, the sentence ranges from 40 to 60 years and the defendant has to serve the full amount of their sentence.
In addition to jail time, any individual convicted of a sex crime may face additional penalties outside of a jail cell. In addition to having a conviction on their personal record for the rest of their lives, they will likely be required to register as a sexual offender wherever they live.
Sex offender registration requires the convicted person to have certain personal information made public in a database that can be viewed by anyone. Typically, the individual will have to list their name, address, and crime in a database managed by law enforcement or another public safety agency.
Additionally, the individual will not have a choice to abstain from registration; failing to register typically results in additional criminal charges for the individual.
The individual may also be required to undergo some form of treatment, usually for mental health or substance abuse if the authorities decide the individual would benefit from such treatment. The individual may be responsible for covering the costs of those treatments, too.
If you have been accused or charged with a sexual assault crime, contact Murfreesboro criminal defense attorney, David L. Clarke. Mr. Clarke has extensive trial experience and will work with you to develop a strategy and defense to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.