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Defending yourself against a shoplifting charge

When you are accused of engaging in petty theft in Tennessee, even the smallest incident can lead to a serious charge. It is common for many people in Tennessee to believe that stealing an item of small value from a store, for example, a packet of cigarettes or a couple of cans of beer, will not lead to any major circumstances. However, this can be far from the truth.

Stealing property, even if it is an item of very low value, can lead to serious consequences. This is because a successful conviction can result in having a theft conviction on your criminal record in Tennessee. This means that you may struggle to find work in the future, since many employers refuse to take on those who have stolen in the past.

What is shoplifting?

Shoplifting is defined under the law in a slightly different way to other forms of theft. It is the theft of an item that was commercial property, and that was intended to be sold. The crime itself typically includes the act of the offender trying to conceal the stolen item while attempting to remove it from the store.

The charge of shoplifting can also include the act of a person trying to remove or alter the price of an item so that he or she can dishonestly avoid paying the full price.

How serious is a shoplifting charge?

The seriousness of a shoplifting charge depends largely on the value of the items that were stolen, or that were subject to attempted theft. For the theft of an item of a very menial sum, such as a candy bar, for example, offenders will likely be subject to a Class A Misdemeanor. However, if a person in Tennessee is found to be trying to steal an expensive item, such as jewelry, they will likely be subject to a serious felony, and may face jail time.

If you have been accused of shoplifting in Tennessee, it is important that you understand the serious consequences that this could have on the rest of your life. Therefore you should research how your current situation and how the specific charges you face apply to the law in Tennessee.

State Bar of Georgia
TBA | Tennessee Bar Association
CBA | Chattanooga Bar Association
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