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Grand Theft


Grand Theft has a big name for a crime. Actually, Grand Theft isn’t so grand as in “more important” or “sumptuous.” 

In this usage, grand means comprehensive or inclusive, therefore grand theft charges in the state of Tennessee have a very low qualification threshold. Instead of assuming grand theft involves only highly expensive items that have a large dollar amount, the minimum to qualify as grand theft can be just over $500 in the amount stolen. Grand theft is a felony charge, but the level of felony depends on the value of the property stolen.

Definition of Theft in Tennessee

Tennessee defines Theft as basically Theft of Property or Theft of Services.

For example, stealing a vehicle would be classified as theft of property. However, skipping out on a restaurant bill would be a theft of services (preparing and serving the meal) as well as a theft of property (the eaten meal). You can be charged for grand theft if the value of the car or the value of service and property were over $500.

Theft charges are classified as a misdemeanor or felony though based on the value of the stolen. Items and services have their own unique applicable value that varies depending on the item or service in question.

Tennessee Code Annotated:


The state of Tennessee punishes theft on a sliding scale.

Class A misdemeanor

Property or services have been valued at a maximum of $500 and can be punished with jail time for up to 11 months. Anything above $500 in value crosses into felony charge territory, so the $500 maximum serves as the boundary for lesser amounts. For example, if you skip out on a $50 meal, you can get charged with a misdemeanor. Skip out on a $501 meal and you are looking at felony charges.


  • Class A felony

If the value of the property or services stolen is $250,000 or more, then the accused individual could be facing jail time ranging from 15 to 60 years in prison and up to $50,000 in fines.

  • Class B felony

If the property or services have been valued between more than $60,000 and less than $250,000, the accused individual could be facing jail time ranging from 8 to 30 years and a fine of up to $25,000.

  • Class C felony

Property or services have been more than $10,000 but less than $60,000, resulting in possible punishments that can include 3 to 15 years in jail and $10,000 in fines.

  • Class D felony

Products and services have been valued at more than $1,000 and but less than $10,000, the charge is a Class D felony, punishable by two to 12 years’ imprisonment and a fine up to $5,000.

  • Class E felony

Lastly is this last felony ranking which occurs when the stolen property/services have been valued at more than $500 but less than $1,000. This can lead to one to six years in jail and a maximum fine of $3,000.

Defense Against Grand Theft Charges

As you can see, grand theft charges can come along with big penalties depending on the value of the amount taken. Even a misdemeanor conviction is no laughing matter. A conviction of any level results in a permanent criminal record that may haunt you for the rest of your life.

As an experienced trial lawyer, Attorney Clarke will uses his talent and skills to defend you. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, it is usually one of the toughest times you will experience. Let us work with you to develop a defensive strategy for your situation to ensure the best possible outcome for your specific case. Do not hesitate to obtain our legal counsel. Contact the Clarke Law Firm today at 615-796-6299 or online.