If you were shopping in a mall or store in the state of Tennessee and were accused of shoplifting, you may have panicked or feared the consequences of being found guilty.
If you have prior convictions of a shoplifting offense and gain another one, the charge can be much more serious, and you may face jail time. In addition, being found guilty of any type of shoplifting charge will go on your record, and this can seriously limit your ability to gain employment in the future.
After you have been accused of shoplifting in the state of Tennessee, it is important that you know how to take action. You have the option to defend yourself and you have the option of trying to gain the minimal sentence. It is important that you understand the way that the law works so that you make the best decisions going forward.
Can I avoid jail time after a shoplifting accusation?
Whether you face jail time after a shoplifting charge will depend largely on the value of the items that you attempted to shoplift. If you stole or attempted to steal products that were valued at $1,000 or more, you will face a felony, which, can result in being sentenced to jail time or prison.
If you attempted to steal less than $1,000 worth of products, you will be charged with a misdemeanor, which still can lead to jail time. However, if you do have prior convictions on your record, you may eventually be charged with a felony.
How can I defend myself?
You may be able to defend yourself by showing that taking an item out of a store without paying was simply an honest mistake. This can happen at times, especially if you were distracted by your children or by another incident. Alternatively, a possible defense is arguing that you were incorrectly accused because of the discrimination or harassment of store staff.
It is important that you treat any shoplifting accusation as a serious matter in the state of Tennessee and that you take action to protect your future.