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How are Theft Crimes Classified?

Theft crimes, whether they involve shoplifting, larceny, embezzlement, or some other type of stealing are serious offenses. Convictions of these crimes can deeply impact your reputation, your career or professional relationships, and your freedom. They are often included in the category called “crimes of moral turpitude,” reflecting negatively on your character. They make you an unlikely candidate for employment, especially in a job that involves dealing with money, whether actual cash, other types of financial transactions, or accounting.

For the above and many other reasons, including the criminal penalties you will face, any kind of theft arrest demands competent and dedicated legal representation. In Knoxville, you will find that kind of professional help at Eldridge and Cravens, PC where we bring trial-tested experience and advocacy to all of our clients. We believe in total commitment when it comes to defending our clients and our entire team will bring all of its knowledge, experience, and resources to your case.

The Classification of Theft Crimes in Tennessee

Theft can be committed in many ways, involving money, property, or services taken from others without their permission with the intention to deprive them. In Tennessee, this act is classified according to the value of the property or services stolen.

Tennessee theft is broken down as follows:

  • Stealing of property/services valued at $500 or less = Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $3,000
  • Stealing of property/services valued between $500 and $1,000 = Class E felony punishable by a prison sentence of on to six years and a fine of up to $3,000
  • Stealing of property/services valued between $1,000 and $10,000 = Class D felony punishable by a prison sentence of two up to 12 years and a fine of up to $5,000
  • Stealing of property/services valued between $10,000 and $60,000 = Class C felony punishable by a prison sentence of three up to 15 years and a fine of up to $10,000
  • Stealing of property/services valued above $60,000 = Class B felony punishable by eight up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000

In any theft crime conviction of merchandise stolen from a store, you may also be subject to civil penalties in a lawsuit brought by the store owner. This is common to shoplifting cases. If the goods are not returned to the owner or have been damaged, you may be forced to pay damages of up to three times the value of the goods. If the goods are returned in a condition to be sold, you may still be forced to pay up to two times their value.

Other Forms of Theft

Other forms of theft can include embezzlement, credit card theft, identity theft, and other white collar crimes in which fraud is used to obtain benefits, services, or monetary reward from an individual, group, or the government. These crimes will be charged according to the type of crime, how much financial damage was inflicted, and whether they are state or federal crimes.

Turn to a Legal Team You Can Trust

In any type of theft allegation, the sooner you bring in a trusted legal representative, the better off you will be. You will get the protections you need when facing law enforcement in any investigation. If you are charged, our team will get to work to make our own investigation into the matter so that we can determine the best strategy to put forth in your defense. We offer free, initial consultations to get started and these are obligation-free.

Need theft defense representation? Call Eldridge and Cravens, PC at (865) 544-2010 or contact us online today.