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In Tennessee, theft crimes are “graded” by the value of the thing or things that were taken. In other words, the more valuable the thing or things taken, the higher the punishment. To convict someone of theft in Tennessee, the State has to prove: that the person charged intended to deprive the owner of the property and with that intent, knowingly obtains or exercise over the property without the owner’s effective consent. The most common form of theft is simple shoplifting. However, like all other theft, shoplifting is punished more if the value of the item shoplifted is high. Tennessee classifies theft of property or services as misdemeanors or felonies based on property value:

  • Class A misdemeanor—theft valued at $1000 or less

  • Class E felony—theft valued at more than $1,000 and less than $2,500

  • Class D felony—theft valued at $2,500 or more and less than $10,000

  • Class C felony—valued at $10,000 or more and less than $60,000

  • Class B felony—valued at $60,000 or more and less than $250,000

  • Class A felony—valued $250,000 or more.

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Making matters more interesting, theft is also viewed as a larger category of offenses which includes a whole list of additional offenses. Examples of theft in Tennessee include:

  • Burglary

  • Armed robbery

  • Shoplifting

  • Auto Theft

  • Grand Theft

  • Petty Theft

  • Credit Card Fraud

  • Mail Fraud

  • Embezzlement

  • Bank Fraud

  • Larceny

  • Identity Theft

  • Counterfeiting

  • Forgery

However, like all other crimes, theft is defensible and it is vital that you contact an experience criminal defense attorney as early on in your case as possible.