The Crime

Shoplifting is a serious offense that can seriously damage your record and your reputation.  If you have been charged with Shoplifting, you should seek help from the Knoxville criminal defense attorneys at the Oberman & Rice Law Firm.

In Tennessee, a person may be convicted of the crime of Shoplifting if the prosecution proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the person with the intent to deprive a merchant of the stated price of merchandise, knowingly:

1) Conceals the merchandise; or

2) Removes, takes possession of, or causes the removal of merchandise; or

3) Alters, transfers or removes any price marking, or any other marking which aids in determining value affixed to the merchandise; or

4) Transfers the merchandise from one (1) container to another; or

5) Causes the cash register or other sales recording device to reflect less than the merchant’s stated price for the merchandise.

Unlike the crime of Theft, to be guilty of Shoplifting, the state is not required to prove that the defendant obtained or exercised control over the merchandise.

[Source: Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-14-146]

The Penalties

Tennessee law specifies that penalties for a Shoplifting conviction are the same as those for Theft and depend upon the value of the property obtained and increase as the value of the property increases, according to following categories:

1)    Value of property $500 or less Class A Misdemeanor and may result in some or all of the following penalties:

    • A sentence of 11 months, 29 days in jail;
    • A probationary period;
    • Restitution (Payment for loss or damage to property);
    • A fine of up to $2,500.00; and
    • Court costs.

2)  Value of property greater than $500 but less than $1,000 is a Class E Felony and may result in some or all of the following penalties:

    • A sentence of 1 to 6 years in prison;
    • A probationary period;
    • Restitution (Payment for loss or damage to property);
    • A fine of up to $3,000.00; and
    • Court costs.

3)    Value of property greater than $1,000 but less than $10,000 is a Class D Felony and may result in some or all of the following penalties:

    • A sentence of 2 to 12 years in prison;
    • A probationary period;
    • Restitution (Payment for loss or damage to property);
    • A fine of up to $5,000.00; and
    • Court costs.

4)    Value of property greater than 10,000 but less than $60,000 is a Class C Felony and may result in some or all of the following penalties:

    • A sentence of 3 to 15 years in prison;
    • A probationary period;
    • Restitution (Payment for loss or damage to property);
    • A fine of up to $10,000.00; and
    • Court costs.

5)    Value of property greater than 60,000 but less than $120,000 is a Class B Felony and may result in some or all of the following penalties:

    • A sentence of 8 to 30 years in prison;
    • A probationary period;
    • Restitution (Payment for loss or damage to property);
    • A fine of up to $25,000.00; and
    • Court Costs.

 6)    Value of property greater than $120,000 is a Class A Felony and may result in some or all of the following penalties:

    • A sentence of 15 to 60 years in prison;
    • A probationary period;
    • Restitution (Payment for loss or damage to property);
    • A fine of up to $50,000.00; and
    • Court Costs.

[Source: Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-14-103]

Why Hire An Attorney Immediately?

It is important to act quickly in order to gather and preserve favorable evidence. Key evidence (faces, dates, events, and conversations) fades from memory over time. Certain witnesses need to be interviewed as soon as possible.  Key evidence (faces, dates, events, and conversations) fades from memory over time.  Also, video recordings and other evidence may be destroyed.  Therefore, it is critical to begin an investigation as soon as possible to ensure valuable evidence is not lost. Success or failure in any criminal case may be determined in the decisions of the defendant and his or her Tennessee Criminal Attorney in only a few hours or days after an arrest is made.

Contact Us Today

If you or someone you know has recently been arrested, contact the Oberman & Rice Law Firm today so that we can begin preparing a defense for your case. Submit your information for a free case evaluation from our Knoxville criminal defense attorneys or call our office at 865-249-7200.