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Types of theft crimes in Tennessee

Not all instances of theft are treated the same under the law. For example, being found guilty of stealing property from a shop will be treated differently than the act of engaging in fraud or not paying what is owed at a restaurant.

If you have been accused of theft in Tennessee, take time to understand the laws that apply to your situation.

Theft of property

An individual will face charges of theft of property if he or she intentionally deprives an owner of their property or their belongings. Theft of property could occur if a person breaks into another person’s home to steal property held within the home, or if commercial property is taken from a store.

Theft of services

Theft of services can be perpetrated in many ways. It could be done through deception, for example, by trying to deceive a worker regarding how many hours they have worked and how much money they are owed. It could also occur through fraud, forgery, coercion or false pretense.

In addition, a person could be charged with the crime of theft if they leave an establishment (such as a restaurant) with the intent of not paying for the services owed.

Possible defenses

Criminal defense strategy depends on the specific circumstances.

A possible route of defense is to argue that there was a lack of intent to commit the crime. For example, if you left a restaurant without paying, you may not have done so intentionally. You may have walked away absent-mindedly, or you may have miscalculated the cash that you left at the table.

Do you have questions?

If you have been accused of theft in Tennessee, it’s crucial to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side.

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TBA | Tennessee Bar Association
CBA | Chattanooga Bar Association
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