Penalties and Defense Options for Theft in Tennessee

Penalties and Defense Options for Theft in TennesseeBeing accused of theft in Tennessee can be a frightening and stressful experience. The severity of the charges and potential consequences depend on the value of the stolen property and the circumstances surrounding the alleged crime. Today, let’s take a deeper look at theft laws in Tennessee, including penalties and potential defense options.

Tennessee classifies theft offenses based on the value of the stolen property. Here’s a breakdown of the categories and potential penalties:

  • Petty theft (value under $1,000):This is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 11 months in jail and fines.
  • Theft (value $500 to $1,000):This is a Class E felony, carrying a potential sentence of 1 to 6 years in prison and fines.
  • Theft (value $1,000 to $10,000):This is a Class D felony, with a potential sentence of 2 to 12 years in prison and fines.
  • Theft (value $10,000 to $60,000):This is a Class C felony, punishable by 3 to 15 years in prison and fines.
  • Theft (value over $60,000):This is a Class B felony, with a potential sentence of 8 to 30 years in prison and fines.

Enhanced penalties for certain types of theft

Tennessee law lays down harsher penalties for theft involving specific circumstances or victims:

  • Theft from over 65-year-olds:Stealing from someone over 65 carries additional penalties on top of the base theft charge.
  • Theft of a motor vehicle:This is a separate offense with its own set of penalties, which can be quite severe.
  • Shoplifting:Shoplifting can result in criminal charges and potential civil penalties from the store.

What additional factors might affect penalties?

The value of the stolen property is a major factor, but other circumstances can influence the charges and potential penalties. These include:

  • Prior convictions:Previous theft convictions can elevate the current charge to a higher level.
  • Use of force or threat:If force or threat of violence was used during the theft, it could be considered robbery, a more serious offense than theft.
  • Intent:The prosecutor needs to prove your intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property.

I’m facing theft charges. What are my defense options?

If you’re facing theft charges in Tennessee, don’t lose hope. Here are some possible defense strategies our experienced Brentwood criminal defense attorney may employ:

  • Mistaken identity:You weren’t the one who stole the property.
  • Lack of intent:You didn’t intend to permanently deprive the owner of the property.
  • False accusations:The accusation is false or fabricated.
  • Mistake of fact:You genuinely believed you had the right to take the property.
  • Entrapment:Law enforcement induced you to commit the crime.
  • Illegal search and seizure:Evidence against you was obtained through an unlawful search.
  • Alibi:You have a verifiable alibi proving you weren’t at the scene of the crime.

How our Franklin theft defense attorney can help

Theft charges can have significant consequences. Here’s why seeking legal counsel from our qualified criminal defense attorney is so important for your case:

  • Understanding your rights:Your attorney can explain your legal rights and ensure they are protected throughout the process.
  • Building a strong defense:An attorney can investigate the facts of your case, gather evidence, and develop a robust defense strategy.
  • Negotiating plea bargains:Your attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor for a reduced charge or lighter sentence.
  • Representing you in court:An attorney can represent you in court hearings and trials, ensuring your voice is heard.

Remember: Don’t speak to law enforcement without your attorney present. Anything you say can be used against you.

Theft charges can be overwhelming, but it’s critical to understand the law and your rights. By consulting with our knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, you can explore potential defense options and navigate the legal process more effectively. We can advocate for your best interests and fight to minimize the impact of the charges on your life.

The sooner you contact our Franklin criminal defense attorney after a theft accusation, the better. Here’s why:

  • Preserving evidence:An attorney can take steps to preserve evidence that might support your defense.
  • Witness statements:Your attorney can interview witnesses and gather statements that could be crucial to your case.
  • Building a defense strategy:The earlier you involve an attorney, the more time they have to build a comprehensive defense strategy.

In some cases, theft charges might stem from underlying issues like addiction or financial hardship. Our attorney can guide you toward resources to address these issues, potentially leading to more lenient sentencing or alternative programs.

Theft charges can significantly affect your life, but they don’t have to define you. With the help of a skilled attorney and by addressing any underlying issues, you can overcome these challenges and move forward with a brighter future. You don’t have to fight theft charges alone. At the Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates, we can explore your options, build a strong defense, and fight to protect your rights. Call our offices or submit our contact form to set up a consultation in Franklin, Brentwood, or Columbia today.