The Crime

Theft is a serious offense that can damage your record and your reputation. If you have been charged with Misdemeanor Theft, you should seek help from the Knoxville criminal defense attorneys at the Oberman & Rice Law Firm.  Theft can also be a Felony offense in Tennessee.

In Tennessee, a person may be convicted of the crime of Misdemeanor Theft of Property if the prosecution proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the person:

  1. Intended to deprive or take the property of another; and
  2. Knowingly took or exercised control over the property of the owner; and
  3. Did not have the consent of the owner to take or exercise control over the property.

A person may be convicted of the Tennessee crime of Misdemeanor Theft of Services if the prosecution proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the person:

  1. Intentionally obtained services by deception, fraud, coercion, forgery, false statement, false pretense or any other means to avoid payment for the services; or
  2. Had control over the disposition of services to others and knowingly diverted those services to the person’s own benefit or to the benefit of another not entitled thereto; or
  3. Knowingly absconded from establishments where compensation for services is ordinarily paid immediately upon the rendering of them, including, but not limited to, hotels, motels and restaurants, without payment or a bona fide offer to pay.

The Tennessee Misdemeanor Theft law is meant to include and incorporate offenses that were previously considered to be separate crimes such as Embezzlement, False Pretense, Fraudulent Conversion, Larceny, Receiving or Concealing Stolen Property, and Shoplifting.

[Source: Tennessee Code Annotated §§ 39-14-101, 39-14-103]

The Penalties

Tennessee law specifies that penalties for a Misdemeanor Theft conviction apply if the value of lost property or services was $500 or less.  Misdemeanor Theft is a Class A Misdemeanor and may result in some or all of the following penalties:

  1. A sentence of up to 11 months, 29 days in prison;
  2. A probationary period;
  3. A fine of up to $2,500;
  4. Court costs.

If the value of lost property or services is greater than $500, the offense is classified as a Tennessee Felony Theft.

[Source: Tennessee Code Annotated §§ 39-14-101, 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.