Covington Theft Crime Attorneys
Aggressively Defending Your Rights & Freedom
Being charged with a theft crime can be a very stressful and overwhelming experience. You may be facing serious penalties, including jail time, fines, and a criminal record. At Huffman Mason, PLLC, we understand the fear and anxiety you may be feeling, and we are here to help. Our Covington theft crime lawyers have extensive experience handling these types of cases and can provide the strong legal representation you need. We will work tirelessly to protect your rights and fight for a favorable outcome on your behalf.
Understanding Theft Laws in Tennessee
Theft is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of criminal offenses. In general, theft involves taking someone else’s property without their consent and with the intent to permanently deprive them of it. However, the specific elements of a theft crime will vary depending on the circumstances of the case.
Some of the most common theft crimes include:
- Identity theft
- Receiving stolen property
It is important to note that theft crimes can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the value of the property involved and the specific circumstances of the case. In general, the more valuable the property, the more serious the charges will be.
Penalties for Theft Crimes in Tennessee
The penalties for a theft crime conviction in Tennessee will depend on the specific charges and the circumstances of the case. In general, the more valuable the property, the more serious the charges will be. Additionally, if the theft involved the use of a weapon or if the defendant has prior theft convictions, the penalties will be more severe.
Some of the most common penalties for theft crimes include:
- Community service
- Driver’s license suspension
For theft offenses where the value of the property stolen is less than $1,000, it is generally considered a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by fines, probation, and up to 11 months and 29 days in jail. As the value of the stolen property increases, theft charges can escalate to higher classes of misdemeanors or even felonies, carrying more severe consequences.
For theft of property valued at $1,000 or more, it is considered a felony offense, with penalties that may include imprisonment for one year or more, fines, and restitution to the victim.
Tennessee law also takes into account factors such as prior convictions, the use of weapons, and theft from certain locations, which can enhance the severity of the penalties. Given the potential long-term consequences of theft convictions, individuals facing such charges in Tennessee should seek legal counsel promptly to build a robust defense and mitigate the potential repercussions.
Defenses to Theft Charges in Tennessee
Defending against theft charges in Tennessee requires a strategic approach, considering the unique circumstances of each case. Several defenses may be employed to challenge theft allegations and seek favorable outcomes:
Lack of Intent: One fundamental element of theft charges is intent. If it can be demonstrated that the accused did not have the intention to permanently deprive the owner of their property, it can serve as a strong defense.
Mistaken Identity: In some cases, individuals may be wrongly accused due to mistaken identity. Providing evidence that the accused was not the person involved in the alleged theft can be a powerful defense.
Owner's Consent: If the accused had the owner's consent to take the property, it can serve as a valid defense. Consent may be expressed or implied, and demonstrating this fact can be critical to the case.
Claim of Right: If the accused genuinely believed they had a legal claim or right to the property, it could serve as a defense. This defense hinges on the sincere belief, even if mistaken, that the accused had a legitimate right to take the property.
Entrapment: If law enforcement induced or coerced the accused into committing the theft, it may be considered entrapment, providing a viable defense.
Insufficient Evidence: Challenging the prosecution's evidence, such as disputing the value of the stolen property or casting doubt on the reliability of witnesses, can be instrumental in building a defense.
Navigating theft charges in Tennessee demands a thorough understanding of state laws and a careful analysis of the specific circumstances surrounding the case. Seeking legal counsel from experienced Covington theft crime attorneys promptly is crucial to developing a strong defense tailored to the unique aspects of the situation.