There are many things and services that people in Tennessee may want or need for their daily lives. In order to get these things people usually need to pay for them. Some people are lucky and may win contests or prizes, but for the most part people need to pay. If people take the things or services without paying for them, they could be charged with theft. The penalties for theft, if the person is convicted, can be very severe.
How severe the penalties will be depends on a number of different factors. However, one of the biggest factors is the amount of money taken or the value of the property taken. If it is $500 or less, the person could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, if it is between $500 and $1,000 then it is a Class E felony, between $1,000 and $10,000 is a Class D felony, between $10,000 and $60,000 is a Class C felony, between $60,000 and $250,000 is a Class B felony and finally $250,000 and above is a Class A felony.
Also, if a number of thefts are considered part of the same string of thefts or against the same entity or person over a period of time, the total amount from all the thefts can be included and charged as one single theft. The severity of the defense would depend on the total amount taken.
Simply being charged with a theft crime, no matter how much is allegedly stolen, does not mean the person is actually guilty of the crime. The charge starts the criminal trial process, but the person is not convicted until guilt has been proven through a trial. There may be defenses available to the individual, which can make it difficult to prove they are in fact guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Many people in Tennessee are charged with various thefts each year in Tennessee. These individuals have constitutional rights and are innocent until proven guilty. These are very fact specific cases, and the person may have defenses available to them. Attorneys understand the defenses and may be able to help protect one’s rights.
Source: FindLaw, “Tennessee Code Title 39. Criminal Offenses § 39-14-105,” Oct. 23, 2017