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What is Grand Theft in Murfreesboro

Grand theft charges in the state of Tennessee actually have a very low qualification threshold. While it’s understandable to assume grand theft would apply only to situations involving highly expensive items, the minimum to qualify as grand theft can be just over $500.

stealing a car, concept of grand theft

If a person stole all the food supplies from a restaurant kitchen, for example, they can be charged with grand theft even if they never stole money or cooking equipment, even though food products generally have a lesser market value compared to other items.

Tennessee Theft Definitions

Theft charges get classified based on the value of the items in question. While money has a specific value ($100 is $100, no matter the kind of bills involved), items and services have their own unique applicable values that vary depending on the item or service in question.

For example, stealing a vehicle would be classified as the value of the vehicle itself. However, running up a large restaurant bill and then leaving before the check arrives would be valued on the food and services provided by the restaurant, including preparing and serving the meal.

Anything valued under $1,000 gets classified as a misdemeanor. Everything above $1,000 gets classified as a felony.

Felony Penalties

The state of Tennessee punishes felony 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, and the $500 maximum serves as the boundary for lesser amounts; it’s possible to steal $312 worth of stuff and still get charged with a misdemeanor.

  • Class B felony

If the property or services have been valued between $60,000 and $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 between $10,000 to $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 between $2,500 to $10,000, Two to 12 years in jail, and a fine not to exceed $5,000.

  • Class E felony

Lastly is this last felony ranking which occurs when the stolen property/services have been valued from anywhere between $1,000 to $2,500. This can lead to one to six years in jail and a maximum fine of $3,000.

Other Contributing Factors

In addition to the overall estimated value of the item or items in question, other factors can play a role in determining the number of criminal charges.

Depending on the value of the items in question, a first-time violator may get some leniency from the judge and prosecutors depending on their age and legal defenses. It’s possible a misdemeanor charge can be addressed through a pre-trial diversion program, which generally tends to involve community service, court evaluation, and a relatively minor fee.

On the other hand, an individual with multiple violations on their criminal record may face harsher penalties due to repeated violations.

Contact Us Today

To find out more about defense against grand theft charges in the state of Tennessee, contact the Clarke Law Firm today.