There’s good news for us living in Tennessee: crime is decreasing. That means a safer and more enjoyable living experience for all of us.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) has released its annual Crime in Tennessee report, providing a comprehensive overview of crime data reported by law enforcement agencies across the state. The report is compiled from information submitted through the Tennessee Incident-Based Reporting System (TIBRS), ensuring accuracy and reliability in the statistics presented.
Notably, the report revealed a positive trend in 2022, with a decrease in reported incidents of Murder, Rape, and Kidnapping, all showing double-digit percentage reductions compared to the previous year. Additionally, there were 119,215 Group A arrests (which include homicide, drug crimes, burglary, and more) in 2022, with 7.98% involving juveniles. The number of reported DUI arrests also saw a decline, dropping from 19,656 in 2021 to 17,794 in 2022.
However, the report did highlight an area of concern, as Identity Theft victims increased by 25.55% from 2021 to 2022. TBI Director David Rausch acknowledged the success of the TIBRS program, attributing it to the cooperative efforts of Tennessee’s law enforcement community. He emphasized TBI’s continued commitment to providing training and technical assistance to ensure the collection of accurate and comprehensive crime statistics, ultimately benefiting the citizens of Tennessee.
What are the penalties for these crimes in Tennessee?
Each of the crimes tracked by TBI is serious, and the penalties are, too. So, let’s take a look at what you could face if you were charged with any of them.
Driving under the influence
In Tennessee, the penalties for a DUI charge vary based on several factos, such as prior offenses and blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
- First offense. For a first offense, the minimum sentence includes 48 hours in the county jail or workhouse, but it can extend up to 11 months and 29 days. If the BAC is .20 or higher, the minimum sentence increases to 7 consecutive days. The consequences also involve license revocation for one year, with a possibility of a restricted license, participation in an alcohol and drug treatment program, restitution for personal losses, and a fine ranging from $350 to $1,500.
- Second offense. A second DUI conviction leads to imprisonment for 45 consecutive days to 11 months and 29 days, along with participation in substance abuse treatment and aftercare programs. The fine for a second offense is between $600 and $3,500, and the license revocation period extends to two years.
- Subsequent offenses. Subsequent offenses result in even longer prison sentences, stricter treatment program conditions, and additional consequences.
To address DUI charges for non-violent individuals with substance abuse disorders, Tennessee offers recovery courts that provide judicial supervision and alternative options for handling such cases. Moreover, for those with two DUI convictions within a five-year period, the use of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for six months becomes mandatory. Being aware of these penalties can help individuals understand the seriousness of DUI offenses and make informed decisions to prevent such incidents.
Theft is another common crime with the possibility of severe consequences. Theft in Tennessee is categorized based on the value of the property or services stolen, and each classification comes with corresponding penalties:
- Theft of property or services worth $1,000 or less is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum jail term of 11 months and 29 days and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
- Theft of property or services worth more than $1,000 but less than $2,500 is a Class E felony, carrying a potential imprisonment of up to six (6) years and/or a maximum fine of $3,000.
- Theft of property or services worth more than $2,500 but less than $10,000 is a Class D felony, with potential imprisonment for up to 12 years and/or a maximum fine of $5,000.
- Theft of property or services worth more than $10,000 but less than $60,000 is a Class C felony, resulting in potential imprisonment for up to 15 years and/or a maximum fine of $10,000.
- Theft of property or services worth more than $60,000 but less than $250,000 is a Class B felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to 30 years and/or a maximum fine of $25,000.
- Theft of property or services worth $250,000 or more is a Class A felony, carrying a potential imprisonment for up to 60 years and/or a maximum fine of $50,000.
Understanding these theft classifications is crucial as it determines the severity of penalties one may face if charged with a theft-related offense in Tennessee.
Kidnapping is a surprisingly common crime. This is likely because when we think of kidnapping, we typically don’t think of parents or other family members being the culprit, which is often the case. In Tennessee, kidnapping is defined as knowingly abducting or restraining someone, interfering with their liberty, and posing a significant risk of harm, classified as a Class C felony. Even parental kidnapping is treated seriously, carrying the same charges as stranger abduction. Prosecutors may allege aggravating factors to increase penalties, such as committing another felony, causing injury, using a deadly weapon, or terrorizing the victim. Aggravated kidnapping is a Class B felony.
Kidnapping convictions in Tennessee can lead to severe penalties, including imprisonment ranging from three to 60 years, depending on the degree of the offense, along with significant fines up to $50,000. Apart from the immediate consequences, a kidnapping conviction can have long-lasting effects on your personal and professional life. To safeguard your future, it is crucial to build a strong defense to mitigate these serious consequences.
Note: if you’re in the process of getting a divorce, or if you’re fighting with your ex about custody, you should discuss with your lawyer potential scenarios that might be regarded as kidnapping or false imprisonment concerning your own child. YOU might think sending a quick text that says “Hey, taking the kids to Disney World this week! Surprise!” is perfectly acceptable, but we can assure you – it’s not. So make sure to ask what is and isn’t okay.
The Franklin criminal defense attorneys at Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates are committed to providing strong legal representation and support to individuals facing criminal charges. With our extensive experience and dedication, you can trust that there’s someone in your corner, fighting for your best interests. Whether you are facing charges for DUI, theft, assault, or any other criminal offense, our team will guide you through the legal process, explaining your options, and fighting for the best possible outcome on your behalf.
If you are interested in a consultation to explore your options, simply fill out our contact form or give us a call. We have offices in Brentwood, Franklin, and Columbia.