Strong Advocacy for Shoplifting Defendants in Tennessee

Serving inhabitants and guests of Sevierville, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge

Shoplifting is more than just a humiliating incident. Shoplifting is a severe offense that can result in the loss of your freedom, damage to your reputation, and extreme financial penalties. It can damage your ability to get a job or to buy a home. Additionally, it can harm your personal reputation. When you are drowning in fear because you never dreamed one mistake could cause so much personal harm, a Sevierville shoplifting defense attorney is on your side – ready to fight hard for you, your future, and your family.

At Delius & McKenzie, PLLC in Sevierville, we have been fighting for over twenty years to protect the rights of our clients in and around Sevier County, including Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.  A charge of shoplifting can be frightening. A theft of just $500 or more can allow the authorities to file a felony charge instead of a misdemeanor. Sevierville shoplifting defense attorneys guide clients through each phase of the criminal case from the initial arrest and the preliminary hearing through trying the case before a jury of your peers. We have successfully fought to obtain not-guilty verdicts, have charges dropped, and get offenses reduced.

What constitutes shoplifting in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, shoplifting is a form of theft. The state must show that a person took merchandise without the intent to pay for it.  Any of the following situations can result in a shoplifting charge:

  • Concealing the merchandise. Putting the merchandise in another container, placing the merchandise in an article of clothing like a pocket, or hiding the merchandise can be grounds for a shoplifting charge.
  • Manipulating the price tag. Removing, transferring, or altering a price tag to avoid having to pay full value for the item can be considered shoplifting.
  • Deceiving the cash register. Any act that is meant to cause the cash register to fail to include an item of merchandise or fail to assess full value for the item can result in a charge of theft by shoplifting.

Defenses for shoplifting

Good arguments and defenses can help to win your case or reduce the charges to a lesser offense. An experienced Sevierville shoplifting defense lawyer can draw from a multitude of defense strategies for your Sevierville, Gatlinburg, or Pigeon Force shoplifting case.  Because we live in a tourism location, our local officials are very aggressive in prosecuting the shoplifters who harm out most important local businesses.  Aggressive representation is necessary to combat the aggressive prosecution of theft crimes.

A solid defense requires reviewing all government and local police reports, footage from surveillance devices, and talking to witnesses. A good Sevierville shoplifting defense attorney seeks to determine if the retail store or business and the police can really prove their case. The prosecution should be able to:

  • Show you took an item of merchandise.
  • Prove you actually concealed the item or manipulated the price tag.
  • Prove you failed to pay for the item.

If any one of these cannot be proved or there is a reasonable doubt that they occurred, then the prosecution has not proved what it needs to in order to get a conviction.

An attorney should also ensure that the police obeyed your Constitutional rights. Business owners and security personnel have limits on what they can do without contacting the police. A search may be ruled improper or a statement you gave may be challenged.

One argument a Sevierville shoplifting lawyer may use is that the store did not give the person a real chance to pay for the item. It is a weaker case for the prosecution when the defendant is stopped before he or she gets to the checkout counter. The stronger case is when the stop occurs after the defendant actually leaves the store with the item in their possession.

Charged with shoplifting in Tennessee? Let our lawyers help.

The Law Office of Bryan E. Delius offers aggressive representation to clients charged with shoplifting in Sevierville, Gatlinburg, or Pigeon Forge. We fight hard to have your charges dropped, or reduced when dropping them is not possible. To make an appointment with our experienced Sevierville shoplifting defense lawyers, please call 865-428-8780 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. Our team offers in-custody visits.