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New sex crimes law in Tennessee may go too far

Being arrested and charged with a sex crime is a serious offense that can leave a person feeling frightened and overwhelmed. A new Tennessee law may serve to add to those feelings of malaise. A law that went into effect on July 1 states that a person convicted of juvenile sex crimes is barred from living with his or her own minor children.

A father in Tennessee had to tell his 7-year-old daughter that he had to move out. He had been accused of inappropriate touching by his stepdaughter seven years ago. Though he denied it and said it stemmed from a disciplinary action imposed by him and his wife, his attorney recommended that he accept a plea deal. The prosecution was asking for a sentence of 18 years. He accepted the plea deal and got probation and has had no issues with the law in the past seven years.

The law is black and white. If one is a convicted child sex offender and has minor children, as of July 1, that person is forbidden from residing with his or her minor children. The state sent letters to those affected saying they had to move out by July 1 or face prosecution. There is an older law that restricts ex-offenders from residing with their children if there is reason to believe the children would be in danger.

Being accused of sex crimes is a horrible reality to face in Tennessee. Being forced to leave one's family is a nightmare no one would want to have to deal with. A person facing charges for a sex crime is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law. The burden of proof falls to the prosecution and must be supported by the evidence presented. A criminal defense attorney can assist a person by helping to ensure that his or her rights are protected throughout the criminal justice process.

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Law Offices of Thomas Maynard
111 North Greenwood Street
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Lebanon, TN 37087

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