A shoplifting charge is an allegation that claims you took property from a store without paying for it. Do not be fooled. A shoplifting conviction can ruin your life. Most job applications require a criminal background check. A shoplifting charge may hurt your chances of getting a good job. A shoplifting charge is a crime of dishonesty and could be used against you in a courtroom in any future legal proceedings.
Under Tennessee criminal law, shoplifting is charged as theft of property with the punishment determined by the dollar value of the property:
- Theft of property less than $500 is a misdemeanor which carries a ranked punishment of 11/29, meaning 11 months and 29 days in jail.
- Theft over $500 but less than $1,000 is a class E felony which carries a full range of punishment of 1 to 6 years in jail.
- Theft over $1,000 but less than $10,000 is a class D felony which carries a full range of punishment of 2 to 12 years.
- Theft over $10,000 but less than $60,000 is a class C felony which carries a full range of punishment of 3 to 15 years.
The actual sentence within the range is determined by your criminal record.
In Nashville, Tennessee, you may be given a criminal citation for shoplifting under $500. It depends on your criminal record. A criminal citation requires you to come to court and face your charges.
If you do not show up in court, an arrest warrant will be issued. First offenders are treated differently than multiple offenders. In felony cases and other types of cases, an arrest warrant will be taken out.
Defense Of Shoplifting Charges
The goal of my law office is to avoid a criminal conviction. There are strategies available to avoid getting a shoplifting conviction. For example, I can often get a dismissal of the charge for a first-time offender, and in some cases help that person get an expungement at a later date. There are also effective strategies if the case does go to trial. What you should never do is assume your case is hopeless before talking with a criminal defense attorney.
If you want to learn more about the process and our firm, you can leave a message here or call our office at (615) 265-6383 to schedule a free consultation and strategy session.