You’re human. You make mistakes. If you’ve been charged with shoplifting, beating yourself up over it won’t help. Instead, you need to take action, getting involved with a local criminal defense attorney to ensure your rights are protected and your side of the story is known. You can’t take accusations like this lying down, you must advocate for your own best interests.
In Tennessee, shoplifting charges are a serious matter. Anytime you face the potential for jail time and exorbitant fines, it’s a serious matter. But charges like this can go far beyond the legal ramifications, affecting even your personal and professional life.
A criminal defense attorney understands that just because you are charged doesn’t mean you are guilty. Shoplifting charges are sometimes levied against the wrong person. Mistaken identity can be a serious issue when you are the innocent party accused of something you had nothing to do with. Fortunately, your defense lawyer is there to take your side and to challenge any witnesses who identify you.
But maybe you admit you made a mistake. Perhaps you had a lapse of judgment during a time of financial stress. Whatever the case, an attorney can help.
Tennessee Shoplifting Laws & Penalties
As with other states, a shoplifting charge in Tennessee is considered a theft offense and is penalized according to the value of the goods you are accused of taking. Because it isn’t easy to shoplift items over $10,000, the table below shows those theft charges that are most frequently brought against shoplifters.
|$500 or less||Class A Misdemeanor||1 year in jail and $2,500 in fines|
|$500 to $1,000||Class E Felony||1-6 years in prison and $3,000 in fines|
|$1,000 to $10,000||Class D Felony||2-12 years in prison and $5,000 in fines|
Ref: TCA 39-14-105
A shoplifting charge isn’t the same as a shoplifting conviction. In other words, you do have options. A local criminal defense lawyer will be able to look at your case and discuss with you the best course of action. They can talk with you about sentencing alternatives that might be available in your area and if a plea agreement would be a possibility.
A shoplifting charge can change your life forever. Having an experienced local defense attorney on your side can minimize this impact.