Shoplifting Defense Attorney

Understanding Your Rights and Legal Options in Tennessee

Shoplifting, a common theft crime, often seems minor but carries significant legal consequences in Tennessee. Understanding your rights and the complexities of Tennessee law is crucial in these situations. The Clarke Law Firm, led by experienced Murfreesboro theft crimes attorney David Clarke, is well-versed in defending such cases and is committed to ensuring that your rights are protected.

What is Shoplifting in Tennessee?

Shoplifting in Tennessee is defined under Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-14-146. It involves the unauthorized taking of merchandise from a retail establishment with the intent to deprive the owner of its value or possession. This can include actions like concealing goods, altering price tags, or transferring items to different containers.

The Legal Consequences of Shoplifting

The consequences of shoplifting vary based on the value of the stolen items. For goods valued at $500 or less, it’s classified as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and fines. Higher-value thefts escalate to felony charges, resulting in more severe penalties. Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-14-105 outlines these penalties in detail.

Civil Liabilities

Apart from criminal charges, shoplifters may face civil liabilities. Tennessee law Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-14-144 allows the merchant to seek damages, often requiring the offender to pay for the stolen merchandise and additional penalties.

Building a Strong Defense

Legal Defenses in Shoplifting Cases

A strong defense is crucial. Common defenses include:

1. Lack of Intent: Demonstrating that the taking was accidental or without criminal intent.

2. Mistaken Identity: Arguing that the accused was incorrectly identified as the perpetrator.

3. Rightful Ownership: Claiming that the accused believed in good faith that they had a right to the property.

The Role of Evidence

Evidence plays a critical role in shoplifting cases. Surveillance footage, witness statements, and the recovery of the alleged stolen item are pivotal. A skilled attorney can scrutinize this evidence for inconsistencies or violations of your rights, such as unlawful search and seizure.

Negotiating Plea Agreements

In some cases, negotiating a plea agreement might be advisable. This could involve lesser charges or alternative sentencing like diversion programs, which, upon successful completion, might result in the dismissal of charges.

Why Choose The Clarke Law Firm?

At The Clarke Law Firm, we understand the nuances of Tennessee’s shoplifting laws and have extensive experience in defending these cases. Our approach includes:

• Thorough Investigation: We meticulously investigate each case to identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence.

• Personalized Defense Strategies: Understanding that every case is unique, we tailor our defense strategies to your specific situation.

• Negotiation and Litigation Skills: Whether negotiating a plea or defending you in court, we are committed to achieving the best possible outcome.

Contact Murfreesboro Theft Crimes Attorney David Clarke

If you’ve been charged with shoplifting in Tennessee, it’s crucial to seek legal advice promptly. Murfreesboro theft crimes attorney David Clarke is here to help you navigate these challenging times. With a deep understanding of Tennessee law and a commitment to your rights, The Clarke Law Firm is your ally in securing a favorable resolution.

For a consultation, contact attorney David Clarke at (615) 796-6299. Don’t let a shoplifting charge define your future; let us help you defend your rights and restore your peace of mind