Types of Theft Crimes
Theft crimes in Tennessee include:
- Shoplifting or petty theft
- Theft of property or services
- Grand theft or grand theft auto
- Credit card fraud
- Receiving, concealing, or possessing stolen property
Additionally, these crimes are related to theft and can carry similar punishments:
- Identity theft
- Writing worthless checks
Aside from the criminal and civil penalties that can come with a theft crime conviction, you will also have a permanent criminal record. A conviction can lead to the loss of professional licenses—such as realtors’, nurses’, pharmacists’, and pilots’ licenses—and bar you from obtaining such licenses in the future. Additionally, future landlords may be reluctant to approve your application for housing if they run a routine background check, which will reveal your criminal record.
What’s the Difference Between Theft, Burglary, and Robbery in Tennessee?
Knowing the differences between theft, burglary, and robbery in Tennessee will help you understand the various consequences for each charge. Though they sound similar, slight variations between theft crimes affect each crime’s associated penalties.
If you take property or services without the owner’s consent, you’re committing theft. Tennessee law uses theft as an umbrella term that covers embezzlement, false pretenses, fraudulent conversion, larceny, and receiving stolen property.
Charges for theft depend on the value of property or services stolen. The charges can range from a misdemeanor to felony. The harshest charge for theft is a Class B Felony if the stolen items or services are valued at over $60,000. This charge comes with an 8-30 year sentence and a fine not to exceed $25,000.
Burglary is entering a dwelling, such as a home or business, without the owner’s consent or knowledge and with the intent to commit a crime. Breaking into a house and stealing its contents while the owners are sleeping, for example, is aggravated burglary.
The minimum charge for Burglary starts as a Class E Felony if the structure was a vehicle, which carries a sentence of 1-6 years of prison and a fine of up to $3,000. If the burglary is a business, it is a Class D Felony. However, Aggravated Burglary, which includes entering a residence, can be defined as a Class C Felony.
Robbery is using violence or a threat of physical harm to steal from a victim, so it’s a combination of theft and violence. Of all the theft crimes, robbery can carry the harshest penalty, a Class A Felony, with mandatory prison time.
The minimum charge for robbery starts as a Class C Felony, for a crime like purse snatching.
Aggravated Robbery is a Class B Felony and carries a sentence of 8-30 years. For the crime to be considered Aggravated Robbery, it must involve both theft, and either personal injury to a victim or the use of a weapon to commit the crime. Stealing cash while holding up a store clerk with a gun is an example of Aggravated Robbery.
The third type of robbery is Especially Aggravated Robbery, which means that both a theft occurred and bodily harm was inflicted on a victim. This Class A Felony will carry 15-60 years in prison and a maximum fine of $50,000.
Facing any legal troubles involving theft charges can have damaging and far-reaching consequences. An experienced Chattanooga theft crime attorney will work hard to minimize or your charges or get them dropped altogether.
We Are Your Trusted Legal Advocates
If you have been arrested for, charged with, or are even simply under investigation for any type of crime, you should immediately contact the Chattanooga theft crime defense lawyers at Speek, Turner & Newkirk PLLC. We can step in to protect your legal rights and ensure that you receive proper and fair treatment by law enforcement and investigators. If you are charged with a theft crime, we know that thorough preparation is key; our goal is to out-prepare our opponents to ensure that you have the strongest possible defense.