Contrary to what many Tennessee residents may believe, shoplifting is a serious criminal offense that can carry harsh penalties, including a criminal record. If you have been arrested and charged with misdemeanor or felony shoplifting charges, it is important to take action to protect your rights and defend against the charges you face.
At Houston & Alexander, PLLC, we have successfully defended shoplifting cases involving a widerange of circumstances. Whether you were shopping with someone who, unbeknownst to you, stole merchandise and put it in your bag or you intentionally took something from a store, our attorneys work to resolve your case as quickly and effectively as possible. Our goal is to help you avoid a conviction and the related penalties which can include thousands of dollars in fines and a sentence of up to 12 months in jail.
First-Time Shoplifting Offenders
Shoplifting charges may be filed in cases involving the theft of merchandise where the total value is under $500. If this is your first shoplifting offense and you do not have any prior convictions, we will work to help you avoid a conviction and keep your record clean. This may mean entering a diversionary probation program or working out an arrangement with the store where the theft occurred.
Felony Shoplifting Charges
If you are accused of stealing merchandise with a total value of more than $500, you will face felony charges. The type of felony charges you face depends on the value of the property or services in question.
- Class E felony — Value of property between $500 and $1,000, fines of up to $3,000 and a prison sentence of between one to six years.
- Class D felony — Value of property between $1,000 and $10,000, fines of up to $5,000 and a prison sentence of between two and 12 years.
- Class C felony — Value of property between $10,000 and $60,000, fine of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of between three and 15 years.
- Class B felony — Value of property between $60,000 and $120,000, fine of up to $25,000 and a prison sentence of between eight and 20 years.
- Class A felony — Value of property in excess of $120,000, a fine of up to $50,000 and a prison sentence of between 15 to 60 years.
To learn more about how we can help you overcome shoplifting and theft charges, contact an aggressive criminal defense lawyer at our Chattanooga firm today. Call 423-267-6715 or contact us online today.