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A primer of Tennessee criminal sexual conduct laws

When a person is accused of a sex crime in Tennessee, the penalties can be severe if they are convicted. Sex crimes are not tolerated by law enforcement or by the public, and both seem to favor swift penalties for the accused. A person who is accused of such crimes can feel anxious and scared.

In Tennessee, criminal sexual conduct is broken down into three degrees. There are elements that need to be present in order for a person to be charged with first degree criminal sexual conduct or second degree criminal sexual conduct. A person can be charged with these if the victim of sexual penetration is less than 12 years old, if the victim is between 13 and 16 and the actor is related by blood or is in a position of official authority over the victim or if the actor uses a weapon or threatens to use a weapon to coerce the victim, the actor causes injury to the victim or overcomes the victim by remaining concealed or surprises the victim. A person can be charged with third degree criminal sexual conduct if the victim is between 13 and 16 and the defendant is at least three years older and the sexual encounter was forced.

Punishment for criminal sexual conduct includes years in prison. If a person is facing a criminal sexual conduct charge, they may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in criminal defense. An attorney can help the defendant tell his side of the story and aggressively defend their client against the prosecution. Besides prison time, a criminal sexual conduct conviction can ruin a person's personal and professional reputation. These are serious crimes that need a serious legal defense.

In Memphis, criminal sexual conduct charges should not be taken lightly. A person who is accused should seek legal help to make sure their rights are being respected.

Source: TN Statutes Annotated: 39-3703, 39-3704, 39-3705, accessed on Aug. 2, 2015

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