Shoplifting Laws in Tennessee
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Theft comes in many different forms with a wide range of victims, and one of the most vulnerable victims to theft are retail establishments. Stores, restaurants, and service vendors are all prone to theft from customers, a practice known as shoplifting. If you are caught shoplifting and convicted of this crime, you could face damage to your public record and your reputation, which means you should take these theft crime accusations seriously and call a Tennessee criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
When you call Collins Law Firm and entrust us to handle your case, you’re putting a powerful team to work on your behalf. We firmly believe that nobody deserves to face their accusations without an ally on their side, and we have over a decade of experience standing up for the rights of those facing the harshness of our criminal justice system. Our team includes a former criminal prosecutor, which gives us an inside knowledge as to how to effectively fight back against your own prosecution. We are relentless defenders through every step of the process because we take a personal interest in helping you achieve the best possible outcome to your case.
To start building your defense with the help of an experienced attorney, call Collins Law Firm, PLLC at 615-610-0728 and ask for a case evaluation.
What Is Shoplifting?
When most people hear the term “shoplifting” they think of going to a store, stashing a piece of merchandise in their bag, and then walking out without paying. While this is certainly one of the most common forms of shoplifting, the crime can actually be charged in many other ways.
- You could be charged with shoplifting if:
- You knowingly change the price on an item to lower it and pay less
- You are rendered services and then leave without paying
- Transfer merchandise to a different container and leave without paying
Penalties for Shoplifting
If you find yourself charged with shoplifting, you’re probably wondering what penalties you might be facing. The state of Tennessee is extremely strict on shoplifting and theft crimes in general, so you could be facing life-impacting consequences if you are convicted. Like most other states, Tennessee defines theft crimes by the value of the property stolen in a single instance—the lower the value of the property stolen, the less serious the charge. However, that’s fairly relative—the lowest classification for a shoplifting charge is a Class A Misdemeanor, and covers all thefts where the property stolen is valued at $500 or less.
- Class A misdemeanors could include the following penalties:
- Up to 11 months & 29 days in jail
- A fine of up to $2,500
- Restitution to the victim (payment for lost or damaged property)
- Substantial court costs
Once the value of a theft crime exceeds $500, the charges are escalated to felony levels, starting with a Class E felony. A conviction of a felony charge carries added consequences, including a loss of rights, plus added consequences even after you have completed your sentence. Those who have been found guilty of a felony often have a hard time finding employment thanks to the entry on their permanent criminal history. When you consider everything that’s at risk, you can’t afford to try to fight back against your charges alone or settle for pleading guilty and accepting the consequences. Collins Law Firm can help you by providing tested and proven criminal defense and highly recognized representation.
Contact Collins Law Firm, PLLC online now and let our award-winning team help you assemble an impactful and effective defense against your charges!