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What is the punishment for theft under $500 in Tennessee? Is there any way to get this taken off of my record?

Rogersville, TN |

I am currently enrolled in nursing school and will be graduating in December 2012. I had a DUI almost 3yrs ago but paid all my fines, served 48hrs, did community service and everything else that was required. I did not use a Title 40 during this time. The charge was out of town. I was wondering if there is any way to keep this off of my record. I am $30,000 in debt with school loans and am so afraid that I will not be able to get a job after this charge. My trial date is October 1st 2012. I have been appointed a public defender. What do you think?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Theft of Property under 500 is a Class A misdemeanor that carries up to 11 months and 29 days in jail. You are not eligible for judicial diversion because of the prior guilty plea and pre-trial diversion is not available because the DUI wasn't at least 5 years ago. Assuming the victim is a store (e.g., shoplifting) your best option would be merchants restitution and your attorney and the DA would need to work that out with the victim.


  2. Most courts have a "informal" process for handling such crimes as what you have been charged with. Generally it would entail the store being reimbursed (restitution) for any loss they incurred and good behavior for a period of time and the charge is dismissed or "retired". These are not serious crimes but could have a very negative impact for you trying to get employment.

    Legal Disclaimer – Nothing contained in this response creates an attorney-client relationship, all information is provided as informational ONLY. This is not legal advice and should not be relied on as such. If legal advice is your intention please contact V. Michael Kurtz directly. V. Michael Kurtz is not a specialist and does not claim to be a certified specialist by the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education. I am not your attorney until retained and we have a contract and payment has been made.

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