Jack P. Sherman, Attorney at Law
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Sentencing change would make defense more important in rape cases

Being accused of rape is about as serious as legal hardship gets. The potential sentencing in the case of a Tennessee sex crime conviction is daunting enough. But there is also the stigma that accompanies even just a whisper of a rape allegation against you. 

Generally speaking, if you have been charged with rape, Tennessee courts could put you in prison for 30 years, maybe less depending on the specific case. The sentencing you would face commonly depends on legal strategy that takes place between prosecutors and your defense team. An element of that strategy might be changing, and not in the favor of the accused.

The possibility of probation is a technical term. To someone who has never been in need of criminal defense, the possibility of probation might sound like only legal jargon. To someone accused of rape in Tennessee, the legal jargon is much more than only words. Having probation on the table in terms of their sentencing could be the difference between hope and hopelessness. 

Lawmakers are looking at a legislative proposal that could take away that hope for Tennessee defendants. The criminal law measure would make those who are convicted of rape in this state ineligible to receive probation as a sentencing option. A full 30-year sentence wouldn't be cut short by probation. The time would be served. 

If the measure is approved and enacted, therefore, having experienced criminal defense lawyers on your side to mitigate the outcome of a rape charge is more crucial than ever. Taking probation away takes away one negotiation tool. Make sure you work with an attorney who has more tools and all the knowledge necessary to protect your future.

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