What is Theft?
Theft includes embezzlement, forgery, fraud, larceny, receiving and/or concealing stolen property, and theft of property or services. Theft of property is basically defined as obtaining or exercising control over someone else’s property to deprive that person of their property without their consent. Theft of services is defined as obtaining services (such as a meal in a restaurant) by fraud or deception (such as leaving the restaurant without paying for the meal). Tennessee law allows for the value of the crime to decide under what misdemeanor or felony class the alleged offender is charged. Motor Vehicle Theft is defined as the unlawful taking or attempted taking of a self-propelled road vehicle owned by another with the intent to deprive him or her of it permanently or temporarily. Charges can range from joyriding or failure to return a rental car to carjacking (using force, intimidation or a deadly weapon to gain control of the vehicle).
Is Being Charged with Theft a Serious Matter in Tennessee?
Many people mistakenly believe that a theft charge, especially for a young person, is not a serious offence. Tennessee law does not agree with that belief and the penalties for a theft conviction can be severe. Theft can be punished as a Misdemeanor up to a Class A Felony depending on the value of the property or services taken. Punishments for a misdemeanor include fines and possible jail time, while a felony conviction can result in years in a penal institution.
So, in addition to court fines and court costs, restitution, and probation, you could face the loss of your privacy, your reputation, and your freedom. Additionally, a theft conviction could impact your ability to obtain the education you desire or the employment you need to support yourself and your family. A theft conviction can prevent you from obtaining a professional license to work as an accountant, in the financial industry, or in the medical field.
What are the Types of Theft Charges in Tennessee?
I and my team of attorneys at Frank Lannom Law Group have successfully defended many people accused of the following:
- Shoplifting or Petty Theft
- Grand Theft
- Auto Theft
- Receipt of Stolen Property
- Identity Theft
- Credit Card Fraud
We understand a theft conviction can be incredibly damaging to your future. That’s why—no matter what your specific charge—our expert legal team will prepare the most aggressive defense possible.