Chattanooga Shoplifting Attorney
Aggressive Defense For Shoplifting Charges in Tennessee
Shoplifting is considered a serious crime in Tennessee. You could be faced with jail time, fines, and a permanent criminal record if you are convicted. At the Law Offices of Meredith Mochel, we understand the stakes involved in shoplifting cases. Our Chattanooga shoplifting lawyer is prepared to fight for you. We will work to protect your rights and your future.
Call the Law Offices of Meredith Mochel today at (423) 250-1499 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our shoplifting lawyer in Chattanooga.
What is Shoplifting?
Shoplifting is a common criminal offense that involves the unauthorized taking of merchandise or property from a retail establishment. It encompasses various activities, from concealing items in your bag or clothing to switching price tags or attempting to leave a store without paying for items.
Shoplifting can take many forms, but in Tennessee, the essential elements that must be proven in a shoplifting case include:
- Intent: To be charged with shoplifting, the prosecution must demonstrate that you intended to permanently deprive the retailer of their property. This intent is a critical element in shoplifting cases.
- Concealment: Concealing merchandise is a common method used by shoplifters. If you hide items in your bag, clothing, or any other means intending to steal them, you may be charged with shoplifting.
- Exit without Payment: Leaving a store without paying for concealed merchandise can also lead to shoplifting charges.
What are the Penalties for Shoplifting in Tennessee?
The penalties for shoplifting in Tennessee may vary depending on the value of the stolen merchandise and the case's specific circumstances. The potential consequences may include:
- Criminal Charges: Shoplifting can result in criminal charges, leading to a permanent criminal record if convicted. A criminal record can have significant implications for your future, affecting employment opportunities and other aspects of your life.
- Fines: Convictions may come with fines you must pay the court. The fines may range from a few hundred to thousands, depending on the value of the stolen merchandise.
- Jail Time: Shoplifting convictions can lead to jail or prison sentences, particularly for repeat offenders or cases involving high-value items. The length of incarceration can vary, but even a short sentence can disrupt your life.
- Restitution: Courts may order shoplifters to pay restitution to the retailer to compensate for the stolen items or any damages incurred during the incident.
- Probation: In some cases, individuals convicted of shoplifting may be placed on probation, which comes with conditions such as community service, mandatory counseling, and regular check-ins with a probation officer.
- Loss of Civil Rights: A shoplifting conviction can lead to the loss of certain civil rights, like the right to vote or possess firearms.
Defenses Against Shoplifting Charges
Some common defenses against shoplifting charges may include:
- Lack of Intent: If it can be shown that you did not intend to steal the merchandise, you may have a valid defense. This could involve demonstrating that you intended to purchase the items but were wrongly accused of theft.
- Mistaken Identity: In some cases, shoplifting charges arise from mistaken identity. This could be a valid defense if you were not the person who committed the theft.
- Procedural Errors: We can examine the procedures law enforcement and the retailer followed. If there were errors in the process or violations of your rights, these can be used as defenses.
- Duress: If you were forced or threatened to commit shoplifting, you may have a defense based on coercion. It's crucial to provide evidence to support this claim.
Contact Our Shoplifting Lawyer in Chattanooga Today
The punishments of a shoplifting conviction can have a lasting impact on your life, so don't face these charges alone. At the Law Offices of Meredith Mochel, our Chattanooga shoplifting attorney has the experience and knowledge to protect your rights and provide a strong defense. We are here to help you navigate this challenging situation and work towards the best possible outcome for your case. Your future is at stake, and we are committed to providing you with the legal support you need to protect it.
Contact the Law Offices of Meredith Mochel today to get started with our Chattanooga shoplifting attorney.