Shoplifting is one of the more common offenses heard in Tennessee courts. Tennessee law lays out the various penalties for shoplifting and retail theft. In addition, the parent or guardian of a minor who is convicted of shoplifting offenses may be held civilly liable to the merchant under another Tennessee law. Shoplifting is considered a misdemeanor in Tennessee if the value of the stolen items or goods is less than $500 and is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500. If the value of the stolen goods exceeds $500 or if the defendant entered the retail outlet with the intention of theft, the offense may be charged as a felony.
Felony theft charges can range from a Class E felony, punishable by 1 to 2 years in prison and fines of up to $3,000 to a Class A felony, which carries a maximum fine of $50,000 and a prison term of 15 to 25 years.
When it comes to theft of property such as merchandise in a shoplifting offense, Tennessee law defines offending conduct as concealing the merchandise, removing the merchandise, altering, transferring, or removing price tags, transferring the merchandise from one container to another, or otherwise causing a sales recording device to register a lower price than what the merchant stated the price to be.
Memphis Criminal Defense Attorney
Though it may seem like a minor offense, a shoplifting conviction can negatively impact your future. Any potential employer may decline to hire you with a theft offense on your record. If you are facing shoplifting or other theft charges or are the parent of a minor who has been accused of such charges, it is in your best interests to seek the advice and guidance of a qualified attorney.
Claiborne Ferguson Law Firm offers outstanding legal representation for those accused of theft as well as any other state or federal criminal charge, from DUI to drug crimes, white collar crimes, violent crimes, and more. Mr. Ferguson is a Certified Trial Specialist, which means he is a legal expert who has achieved Board Certification in his field, an accomplishment which places him at the top of the legal profession. He has more than 15 years of experience defending clients in criminal cases in state and federal court. Due to his high level of legal ability and client service, he has earned a 10 out of 10 Superb rating by Avvo as well as Avvo’s Client Choice Award for 2013. Contact his firm for a free consultation to learn more about your case and how he can help you with an effective defense.