“Not all individuals who are charged with crimes by the government are guilty.” This is one thing seasoned and highly-skilled criminal defense lawyers are totally convinced of. Along this same line of thinking, one Nashville rape defense lawyer says, “Rarely does the ‘system’ intentionally arrest and charge an innocent person, but false allegations by vindictive spouses, business partners, angry family members, and others with a motive are sometimes made.” And, though, “most prosecutors and police officers are honest people doing a tough job,” there are also others who “often develop ‘tunnel vision or confirmation bias,’ where they form an initial impression about one person’s guilt, and the entire investigation is tunneled or focused on proving that person’s guilt while exculpatory information and other suspects are overlooked.”
The paragraph above briefly explains why some lawyers dedicate themselves to defending people who are accused of very serious crimes, such as sex offenses. They know that even a mere accusation can change a person’s life and that, though, the very harsh penalties of a conviction could already haunt him/her for years, its destructive effects will still continue to stalk him/her even after he/she has served sentenced, affecting his future professional, community and personal life.
Sex offenses where the victim is a child are among the most complex and challenging criminal cases to defend. These offenses include solicitation of a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor, and rape of a child, among others.
Age of the victim is the determining factor in a “rape of a child” offense. Based on age, this offense falls under three degrees:
1) Victim is under the age of 12. This is considered a first degree offense and can be committed if the victim is not married to the offender and the offender is at least two years older than the victim. Maximum possible sentence for this crime is life imprisonment.
2) Victim is 12 or 13 years old. This is considered a second degree offense and a class A felony. This is the offense committed if the person, who had sexual intercourse with the victim, is not married to the victim and if he/she is at least three years older than the victim.
3) Victim is 14 or 15 years old. This is considered a third degree offense and a class C felony. This is the offense committed if the person, who had sexual intercourse with the victim, is not married to the victim and if he/she is at least four years older than the victim.
As Class A felony, state law mandates that the minimum prison sentence for a rape of a child conviction be 25 years instead of the 15 years stipulated under the sentencing guidelines for Class A felonies. A person convicted of this crime may also be subjected to enhanced requirements for probation or parole. The aggravated form of this offense is applied if it is committed against a child aged three years or less. Though the aggravated form is a Class A felony, the offense is categorized in such a way that the minimum prison sentence will be 40 years if the defendant is convicted.
Since actions taken by the authorities, from investigation of the case of child abuse to the court hearings, often take the direction that would confirm the child’s accusation, the person charged will definitely need an experienced, tough, effective criminal defense attorney on his/her side.Read More