Aggressive Defense Strategies for Clients Charged with Thefts in Tennessee
Upholding the rights of residents and visitors in Sevierville, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge
Few occurrences are scarier than being charged with a crime. When you feel as though the world is against you and the walls are closing in, we are by your side and ready to fight for you, your family, and your future. Theft charges in Tennessee can be misdemeanors or felonies. Defendants can be charged in federal or state court and penalties for conviction often include jail time, restitution, fines, and court costs. After any prison time, convicted defendants are subject to probation. The amount of jail time and other penalties vary depending on the prior criminal record of any convicted defendant. Other factors, such as using a weapon, can increase the amount of prison time and penalties.
Delius & McKenzie, PLLC aggressively fights to protect your legal rights. We act quickly to gather the right evidence such as identifying witnesses, conversations, dates, and events. Success or failure in any theft case may be determined by the decisions of the defendant and his Sevierville criminal defense attorney in only a few hours or days after the arrest. We challenge police reports and cross-examine the police and witnesses to make sure your case is presented in the most favorable light. We have provided successful advocacy for people in and around Sevierville, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge, and throughout East Tennessee, for over 20 years.
Types of theft cases
Tennessee has two main types of theft cases — theft of property and theft of services. Theft of property includes taking merchandise from a retail store or items from someone’s personal home. The key elements of theft of property are the intent to deprive the owner of the merchandise or property and taking the item without the consent of the owner. Theft of services applies if a person:
- Uses deception, fraud, coercion, or some dishonest means to avoid paying for the services
- Diverts the services for their own benefit or another without authority
- Vacates a place without paying when payment was expected or agreed upon – such as staying at a motel or hotel
Theft crimes are graded according to the value of the item or service that was wrongfully taken. Items and services of lesser value may be a misdemeanor, while theft of higher-valued property and care are felonies.
The main types of cases handled by a Sevierville criminal lawyer in Sevierville, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge are:
- Shoplifting. Shoplifting is the taking of an item of merchandise without the intent to pay for it or to avoid paying the full price. This includes hiding the item and altering the price tag. A conviction of even minor shoplifting can damage your reputation and your freedom.
- Robbery. Robbery is theft combined with force. Jail time for a simple robbery can be at least three years. If a weapon is used or someone is injured, the prison time can be decades or a lifetime.
- Burglary. Burglary has two essential elements. The first is unlawful entry into any building, such as a home or a retail store. The second is intent. The accused must intend to commit theft, assault, or felony before the unlawful entry begins. Burglary defendants need strong representation. When a suspect breaks into a residence, Tennessee law considers the burglary “aggravated” and higher penalties apply.
- Additional theft categories. In Tennessee, theft includes many types of crimes that other states and the federal government have separate statutes for. Tennessee theft crimes cover embezzlement, larceny, receiving stolen property, theft through false pretenses, and fraudulent conversion.
Strong defense counsel for theft defendants in Sevierville, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge
The US Constitution provides a number of rights to those accused of a crime. These include the right to confront the witnesses against you, the right to be free from self-incrimination, and the right to a speedy, public, and impartial jury. A Sevierville theft defense lawyer makes sure those rights are protected.
Defendants have the right to a presumption of innocence. The duty is on the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A Sevierville theft defense attorney works to find reasonable doubt and to hold the prosecution to this high standard.
The facts of your specific case will dictate the defense approach we will take. Arguments could include that you may have had consent, that the wrong person was charged, that the value of the item was less than the charges indicate, and other defenses depending on your case and our investigation.
Our experienced attorneys defend you against theft charges across Tennessee
Delius & McKenzie, PLLC offers aggressive representation to clients charged with theft in Sevierville, Gatlinburg, or Pigeon Forge. We fight to have your charges dropped, or reduced when dropping them is not possible. To make an appointment with an experienced Sevierville theft defense lawyer, please call 865-428-8780 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. Our team offers in-custody visits.