Dealing with Theft Charges in Tennessee: How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

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Nothing can be scarier than facing criminal charges. If you feel like the world is against you, a skilled criminal defense lawyer Knoxville, TN is available to fight for you and your family. Charges of theft in the state of Tennessee can be felonies or misdemeanors. You can be charged in state or federal court and when convicted, you can face jail time, fines, restitution, and court costs. After serving prison time, you can be subject to probation. How long you will be in jail depends on your previous criminal record. Other factors like the use of a weapon can increase your prison time and penalties. 

How a Defense Lawyer Can Help You

An experienced defense attorney can aggressively fight to protect your rights. They can collect the right evidence like conversations, witness testimony, events, and dates. The outcome of your case can be determined by the decisions you and your lawyer will make a few hours or days following your arrest. Your attorney will challenge police reports and question the police and witnesses, presenting your case in the most favorable light. 

Kinds of Theft Cases

In Tennessee, theft cases are categorized into the theft of services and theft of property. Theft of services applies when you use fraud, coercion, or deception to avoid paying for services, leave a place of service without paying, or divert services for your own benefit. Meanwhile, theft of property includes stealing merchandise from retail stores or items from a house that belongs to someone else. The main elements of this type of theft are your intent to deprive the merchandise or homeowner and take the items without their consent. The major kinds of cases defense attorneys will handle include the following:

  • Shoplifting. This type of theft refers to taking a merchandise item without the intuition of paying for it or not paying the full price. When you are convicted for even minor shoplifting, your reputation and freedom can be damaged.
  • Robbery. This theft is combined with force. A simple robbery conviction can have you serving at least three years in jail. If you used a weapon and injured someone, you can end up in prison for decades or forever. 
  • Burglary. This occurs when you enter a building and intend to commit theft, felony, or assault before the start of the unlawful entry. When you enter into a residence, you can be found guilty of aggravated burglary which comes with heavy penalties. 

Other theft crimes in Tennessee include embezzlement, getting stolen property, larceny, fraudulent conversion, and theft through false pretensions.