Theft is the unlawful taking of another person’s property without their consent. In Tennessee, theft is a criminal offense that can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor. The punishment for theft depends on the value of the property that was taken and the defendant’s criminal history. If convicted of felony theft, a person could face steep fines, jail time, or a combination of both.
What are the Different Types of Theft Crimes in Tennessee?
There are several different types of theft crimes in Tennessee, but the main categories include theft of property, theft of services, and theft by deception.
- Theft of property is the act of stealing someone’s belongings without their permission. This can include taking someone’s car, grabbing their purse, or even stealing a package from someone’s front porch.
- Theft of services is a form of stealing in which the perpetrator obtains services without paying for them. This can include anything from using someone’s wifi without permission to using someone’s cable subscription without paying. It can also include more serious offenses such as using someone’s identity to obtain services illegally.
- Theft by deception can be defined as the taking of property from another person through the use of fraudulent means. This can include lying to the victim about the true nature of an agreement, or misrepresenting the value of an object in order to obtain it. The perpetrator may also create a false sense of urgency in order to rush the victim into making a decision. Theft by deception can be a very sophisticated crime, and often results in significant financial losses for the victim.
Theft Crime Categorization in Tennessee
In Tennessee, theft crimes are categorized into five different classes: Class A misdemeanor, Class E felony, Class D felony, Class C felony, and Class B felony. The severity of the charge depends on the value of the stolen property.
- Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. This category includes thefts of property worth less than $500.
- Class E felonies are punishable by up to two years in prison and a $3,000 fine. This category includes thefts of property worth between $500 and $1,000.
- Class D felonies are punishable by up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine. This category includes thefts of property worth between $1,000 and $10,000.
- A Class C felony includes thefts of property worth between $10,000 and $60,000,
- A Class B felony involves thefts that are worth over $60,000. These felonies carry the harshest penalties.
In addition to the theft penalties, a court may order restitution to victims of the crime(s). Restitution is an order from the court that requires the defendant to pay back the victim for any loss caused by the crime.
How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of a Theft Crime in Tennessee
There are several things that can be done in order to avoid becoming a victim of theft of property crimes in Tennessee. One is to be aware of one’s surroundings and to be cautious when approached by strangers. It is also important to keep personal belongings secured and out of sight whenever possible, and to never leave property unsupervised in public places.
To avoid becoming a victim of theft of services crimes in Tennessee, individuals are encouraged to take active steps to protect their personal information. First, do not give out your social security number or credit card number to just anyone. Second, be aware of what you are doing online. Make sure you are only shopping on secure websites and that you are not clicking on any suspicious links. Third, it is also important to keep track of all account numbers and passwords and to use strong passwords to make you more protected.
Finally, a possible way to avoid becoming a victim of theft by deception is to be aware of the warning signs. Common warning signs of a scam include unsolicited offers, high-pressure sales tactics, and too-good-to-be-true deals. If you are contacted by someone you do not know who is trying to sell you something, be skeptical and do your research before making a purchase. Never give out your personal information unless you are sure that the person is legitimate.
What to Do if You are a Victim of a Theft Crime in Tennessee
If you are a victim of theft, there are several steps you can take to help protect yourself and ensure that the thief is caught.
First, report the crime to the police as soon as possible. Be sure to provide them with as much information as you can, including a description of the thief (if you have it).
If you have had your property stolen, be sure to file a police report and keep a copy for your records. You may also want to contact your insurance company to see if the theft is covered under your policy.
Lastly, be alert and keep an eye out for any suspicious activity in your area. If you see anything that seems out of the ordinary, please call the police immediately.
How Do You Defend a Theft Crime Charge?
If you have been charged with theft, you may be wondering how you can defend yourself. There are several things that you can do to improve your chances of success in court. First, you should build a strong defense team. This includes an experienced criminal defense attorney and any other experts who may be able to help your case. A skilled attorney can help you gather evidence to support your case. This may include witness statements, documents, or other evidence that proves your innocence. Finally, you should prepare for trial and be ready to argue your case in court.
Need a Skilled Theft Crimes Attorney in Tennessee?
If you are facing any type of theft charge in Tennessee, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney at 615-NASH-LAW as soon as possible. Theft crimes can be serious offenses, and if you are convicted, you could face significant penalties. Our attorneys can help you build a strong defense and may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed.