If you have been caught shoplifting or stealing something, and charged with theft in Tennessee, chances are you are humiliated and regret the actions that led you to this point. Once you get over the initial embarrassment, you may experience a huge amount of stress. Facing criminal charges is not an easy thing and you have every right to be frightened of the potential outcome.
Or you may be wrongfully accused of shoplifting. It can often be a mistaken charge. It is very possible that you meant to pay but simply forgot, or you were with someone else who stole something, and you were also charged with theft.
We understand that you are in a tough situation, and need some advice and help to figure out how to defend yourself and fix the situation. And the stakes are high… you can face serious penalties, fines, and even jail time for a theft offense. Not to mention the risk and consequences of getting stuck with a permanent criminal record that can follow you for life.
Whatever happened, we are here to help you. Whether you forgot to pay for something or intentionally stole someone else’s property, you might feel that the entire criminal justice system is out to get you. You may be unsure if you will receive fair treatment in court, and make sure that your side is heard, and your rights are defended under the law. A skilled and experienced Tennessee defense attorney ensures that your rights will be protected and your best interests looked after.
Our lawyers have handled a very wide variety of theft cases in Tennessee criminal courts. We know the outcome you may be facing is frightening and want to put your mind at ease. So please call to discuss your case today and see how we can help you during this time of need.
Tennessee Shoplifting/Theft – Laws & Penalties
There are two very basic theft offenses in Tennessee: theft of property and theft of services.
Theft of property involves knowingly obtaining or exercising control over the property of another without their consent.
Ref: TCA 39-14-103
Theft of services is obtaining services by fraud or deception or leaving a place of business after receiving service typically paid for without paying, or receiving any service that requires payment without paying.
Ref: TCA 39-14-104
How you are charged and the potential sentence/penalties you may be facing depends largely on the value of the property or services in question.
|If the theft value is:||Then the charge and sentence is:|
|$500 or less||Class A misdemeanor (Up to one year in jail and $2,500 in fines)|
|$500-$1,000||Class E felony (1-6 years in prison and up to $3,000 in fines)|
|$1,000-$10,000||Class D felony (2-12 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines)|
|$10,000-$60,000||Class C felony (3-15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines)|
|More than $60,000||Class B felony (8-30 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines)|
Ref: TCA 39-14-105
Identity Theft – Laws & Penalties
Identity theft is a serious offense that is growing due to the technology of the age we live in. As the offense becomes more prevalent, the prosecution gets harsher and the criminal justice system tries to slow the increase of identity theft incidents.
Identity theft is committed when you knowingly obtain, possess or use the identifying information of another with intent to commit any unlawful act without the consent of that person.
For instance, if you use someone else’s social security number to get a credit card you may be charged with identity theft. If you possess someone’s social security number and intend to use it illegally you may be charged with the offense even if you don’t actually use the numbers.
In most cases, identity theft is a Class D felony punishable by 2-12 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
Also, see the related misdemeanor charge of criminal impersonation.
FRef: TCA 39-14-150
Free Legal Defense Consultation on a Tennessee Shoplifting or Theft Offense
Facing a theft or shoplifting charge is a serious matter. Most people have never been involved in the criminal courts, and are nervous and unsure of what to expect. We can help calm your fears and give you some straight answers about what you are facing. Call us for a consultation on your Tennessee theft charges today.