Nashville Spousal Rape Attorneys

Spousal rape, or marital rape, is defined as non-consensual sex between spouses. Due to laws enacted in recent decades, most states prosecute rape within marriage the same as they would prosecute any other rape case. However, proving non-consent of sex by a spouse is much harder than proving an instance of stranger rape. The spouse raising the allegation would have to provide evidence that the other spouse compelled them to engage in sexual penetration against their will—this is no easy feat due to the conception that married couples generally engage in consensual sex.

A spousal rape allegation can be very distressing. Understandably so, as not only are criminal charges being levied against you, but your professional reputation, career, personal relationships, and status as a potential sex offender are on the line. While the ramifications of such an accusation can be difficult to deal with, it is important to remember that an allegation is not a conviction, and obtaining help from a proficient, well-versed Nashville spousal rape attorney is crucial to your defense. At Horst Law, our resourceful legal team can investigate the facts of your case and advocate on your behalf against the prosecution.

Statutory Definition of Spousal Rape

Tennessee statute specifically outlines the circumstances that must occur for an act to be considered spousal rape. The conditions of spousal rape are as follows:

  • Unlawful sexual penetration of one spouse by the other occurs and;
  • A weapon is used to coerce penetration or;
  • The accused causes serious bodily injury to the victim while trying to coerce or force penetration or;
  • The spouses are living apart and one spouse has filed for separation or divorce

As with all sex crimes, the penalties for spousal rape can change a person’s life. Having an experienced and tough criminal defense team on your side could mean the difference between spending many years in prison and completely dropped charges.

Penalties of Spousal Rape

If circumstances surrounding the rape allegation include the accusing spouse being passed out or mentally incapable of giving consent at the alleged time of contact, it can be harder to prove your innocence. If penetration was not part of the sexual contact, charges levied against you could be reduced to marital sexual battery. In Tennessee, the penalties for marital rape include:

  • Marital sexual battery – A Class E felony; maximum $3,000 fine; 1 – 6 years in prison
  • Aggravated sexual battery – A Class B felony; maximum $25,000 fine; 8 – 30 years in prison
  • Marital rape – A Class B felony; maximum $25,000 fine; 8 – 30 years in prison
  • Aggravated rape – A Class A felony; maximum $50,000 fine; 15 – 60 years in prison

Because of the cultural stigma and heavy criminal charges that come with any type of rape allegation, procuring a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer is pivotal. While spousal rape is a tough charge to contend with, the burden of proof is on the accusing spouse and an effective defense can falsify baseless accusations.

How do you defend against false accusations of a sex offense? | Horst Law | (615) 259-9867




Defending sexual assault cases is perhaps the most difficult type of case to defend—primarily because of the emotion involved. People do not want to believe that an individual, a woman or worse yet a …

Contact a Spousal Rape Lawyer in Nashville

Finding legal representation when you are accused of a sex crime is one of the most important decisions that you can make. If you are having rape charges raised against you by your spouse, contact the adept Nashville spousal rape attorneys at Horst Law. We can support and guide you through the legal process of defending against these allegations. Don’t hesitate to contact our Nashville offices at (615) 403-2971 to discuss your case in more detail.