What Happens if You Are Caught Shoplifting in Tennessee?

If you have been accused of shoplifting, please read on, then contact an experienced Memphis theft lawyer to learn what happens when you are caught shoplifting in Tennessee.

What are the penalties for shoplifting in Tennessee?

In the Volunteer State, the degree of the theft crime will usually be determined by the value of the stolen items. In most cases, the penalties break down as follows:

  • The amount stolen is $1,000 or less: A Class A misdemeanor punishable by 11 months and 29 days of incarceration and a potential fine of $2,500.
  • The amount stolen is between $1,000 and $2,500: A Class E felony punishable by 1 to 6 years of incarceration and a potential fine of $3,000.
  • The amount stolen is between $2,500 and $10,000: A Class D felony punishable by 2 to 12 years of incarceration and a potential $5,000.
  • The amount stolen is between $10,000 and $60,000: A Class C felony punishable by 3 to 15 years of incarceration and a potential $10,000 fine.
  • The amount stolen is between $60,000 and $250,000: A Class B felony punishable by 8 to 30 years of incarceration and a potential fine of $25,000.
  • The amount stolen exceeds $250,000: A Class A felony punishable by 15 to 60 years of incarceration and a potential fine of $50,000.

Chances are you probably have not stolen items valued in the tens of thousands of dollars, but keep in mind that Volunteer State prosecutors may aggregate the amount. In other words, they may add together the amounts so long as they were committed pursuant to the same scheme or course of conduct, in order to upgrade your charges and the potential penalties you face. That is why it is absolutely essential that you reach out to a skilled Memphis criminal defense attorney to discuss your next steps and help prepare a strong defense.

How can you defend against shoplifting charges?

As it so happens, you may have a number of possible strategies to employ in your defense. For starters, your seasoned criminal defense lawyer may challenge the prosecution’s assertion that you, the alleged shoplifter, intended to steal an item. Next, he might cast doubt on what a security guard, or another witness, claims to have seen, and question the validity of video surveillance used to substantiate the charges. No witness, electronic or human, is entirely infallible and, thus, they may have mistakenly identified you. Such mistakes are not uncommon, but the prosecution will not be inclined to admit that possibility. This is why you should not hesitate to give us a call today.

Contact Our Experienced Memphis Firm

No one should ever have to recover from a serious injury or deal with a pressing criminal matter on their own. We pride ourselves in assisting clients facing a wide range of legal issues throughout Memphis, Tennessee, and we are ready to help you, too. If you need assistance with a personal injury, criminal, or business litigation matter, you can turn to us. Contact Ballin, Ballin & Fishman, P.C. today to schedule your free initial consultation with our experienced legal team.