Theft Attorney in Chattanooga, Tennessee

According to statistics from the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program, in 2019, there were about 7,694 reported incidents of larceny-theft in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Theft crimes in the state of Tennessee may include theft of property or services, burglary, racketeering, and robbery. Depending on the value of the property or services stolen, a conviction can result in huge fines, lengthy prison time, and other devastating life-altering consequences.

If you have been arrested and charged with theft, retaining an aggressive Tennessee criminal defense attorney is critical to fighting the charges against you. At the Law Offices of Fisher Wise, I have dedicated my career to providing experienced criminal defense services, including defending clients facing charges of theft. As your legal counsel, I can review and investigate the facts of your case to craft an effective defense strategy that is aimed at maximizing your chances of achieving the best possible outcome for your case.

I am also proud to serve clients throughout Chattanooga, as well as the surrounding areas of Red Bank, Hamilton County, Marion County, East Ridge, Rhea County, Sequatchie County, and Bradley County, Tennessee.

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Theft Under Tennessee Law

Theft is a general term used to describe various offenses that involve the stealing or taking of another person's property or service without the owner's consent and with the intent to deprive the owner of that property. Under Tennessee law, theft crimes may be classified into two distinct categories: theft of property and theft of services.

Theft of Property

According to Tennessee Code section 39-14-103, "a person commits theft of property if, with intent to deprive the owner of the property, the person knowingly obtains or exercises control over the property without the owner's effective consent."

Theft of Services

According to Tennessee Code section 39-14-104, a person commits theft of services when he or she commits any of the following actions:

  • Intentionally obtains services by deception, false statement, fraud, forgery, coercion, false pretense, or any other deceptive means in order to avoid paying for such services.
  • Having control over the disposition of services to others, knowingly diverts those services for the person's personal benefit or to the benefit of another not entitled.
  • Knowingly absconds from an organization or establishment where compensation for services is paid immediately upon rendering such services, without making any payment.

Penalties for Theft in Tennessee

In the state of Tennessee, the penalties for theft often vary depending on the value or amount of the property or services stolen and the other surrounding circumstances. If convicted, possible penalties include:

Misdemeanor Theft

A theft charge is considered a misdemeanor if the total value of property or services is:

  • $500 or Less - This is a Class A misdemeanor. Punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. (Tennessee Code section 40-35-111 (e) (1)).

Felony Theft

A theft charge is considered a misdemeanor if the total value of property or services is:

  • From $500 to $1,000 - This is considered a Class E felony. Punishment includes anywhere from one year to six years in prison and a maximum fine of $3,000. (Tennessee Code section 40-35-111 (b) (5)).
  • From $1,000 to $10,000 - This is considered a Class D felony. Punishment includes anywhere from two years to 12 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000. (Tennessee Code section 40-35-111 (b) (4)).
  • From $10,000 to $60,000 - This is considered a Class C felony. Punishment includes anywhere from three years to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. (Tennessee Code section 40-35-111 (b) (3)).
  • From $60,000 to $250,000 - This is considered a Class B felony. Punishment includes anywhere from eight years to 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000. (Tennessee Code section 40-35-111 (b) (2)).
  • $250,000 or more - This is considered a Class A felony. Punishment includes anywhere from 15 years to 60 years in prison and a maximum fine of $50,000. (Tennessee Code section 40-35-111 (b) (1)).

Common Theft Defenses

Some of the most common defenses that may be used when fighting your theft charges include:

  • The owner gave effective consent
  • The rightful owner might have lost the property
  • The property was not, in fact, stolen
  • Lack of intent to deprive the lawful owner of the property
  • Acted under the honest claim of right to the service or property involved
  • Planned on searching for the rightful owner and returning the item
  • Acted in the honest belief that you had the right to obtain the property just as the owner
  • Acted under the honest belief that the owner would have consented

Work With a Skilled Tennessee Criminal Defense Attorney

The outcome of your case can have a huge impact on your reputation, freedom, and future. Unfortunately, trying to defend your theft charges on your own could certainly expose you to the risk of facing the maximum punishment and other devastating consequences. Therefore, when facing charges of theft, it is crucial that you hire a highly-skilled Tennessee criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and craft a strong defense strategy for your case.

At the Law Offices of Fisher Wise, I have devoted my entire career to offering comprehensive legal guidance and strong representation to clients facing charges related to property crimes, larceny, and theft. As your attorney, I will fully investigate all the facts related to your case, explore all possible legal avenues, and use my extensive legal knowledge and experience to fight the charges against you.

Throughout the length of your case, my top priority is to help you navigate the Tennessee criminal justice system, protect your rights, and do all that I can to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case. So don’t wait. If you or someone you know has been charged with theft or a property crime, call my office today and put my experience on your side.

Theft Attorney in Chattanooga, Tennessee

If you're facing theft allegations, don't face them alone. Call my firm – The Law Offices of Fisher Wise – today to schedule a free one-on-one case evaluation. I can offer you the experienced legal counsel, strong advocacy, and reliable representation you need. My firm proudly serves clients throughout Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the surrounding areas of Red Bank, Hamilton County, Marion County, East Ridge, Rhea County, Sequatchie County, and Bradley County, Tennessee.