Under Tennessee law, arson is defined as the act of damaging a structure by fire or explosion, without the consent of the property owner and with intent to destroy the property. The offense of arson is further classified into:
- Reckless Burning – Burning someone else's property recklessly
- Arson – Damaging a structure by fire or explosion
- Aggravated Arson – Damaging a structure by fire or explosion, which also results in bodily injury or harm to someone present in the building
Pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 39-14-301, arson is charged as a Class C felony. Possible penalties include fines up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of 3 and 15 years.
Trespassing or criminal trespassing occurs when a person enters or stays on another person's property without the property owner's permission or consent.
Pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 39-14-405, trespassing is charged as a Class C misdemeanor. Possible penalties for trespassing include a $50 fine and a prison sentence up to 30 days.
Under Tennessee law, a person commits the offense of burglary if he or she unlawfully or intentionally enters or remains in a building not open to the public, with the intent to commit a theft, felony, or assault. An aggravated burglary occurs when the burglary involves a habitation structure and a person suffers serious harm or bodily injury.
Pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 39-14-401, burglary is charged as a Class D or E felony, and possible penalties include fines up to $5,000 and a prison sentence of 1 to 12 years, a portion of which may be served as probation.
Theft can be described as the act of taking someone else's property unlawfully, without any intention of giving it back. Pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 39-14-103:
"A person commits theft of property if, with intent to deprive the owner of the property, the person knowingly obtains or exercises control over the property without the owner's effective consent."
Tennessee classifies theft of property as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value of the property stolen. Possible penalties for theft of property in Tennessee include:
Property Value at $1,000 or Less
- Charges: Class A misdemeanor
- Fines: Up to $2,500
- Prison Sentence: Up to 12 months
Property Value between $1,000 and $2,500
- Charges: Class E felony
- Fines: Up to $3,000
- Prison Sentence: Between 1 and 6 years
Property Value between $2,500 and $10,000
- Charges: Class D felony
- Fines: Up to $5,000
- Prison Sentence: Between 2 and 12 years
Property Value between $10,000 and $60,000
- Charges: Class C felony
- Fines: Up to $10,000
- Prison Sentence: Between 3 and 15 years
Property Value between $60,000 and $250,000
- Charges: Class B felony
- Fines: Up to $25,000.00
- Prison Sentence: Between 8 and 30 years
Property Value at $250,000 or more
- Charges: Class A felony
- Fines: Up to $50,000
- Prison Sentence: Between 15 and 60 years
Get Help from an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
Property crimes in Tennessee often result in misdemeanor or felony charges. If convicted, the defendant could be facing lengthy prison time, substantial fines, a criminal record, and other social ramifications. When defending property crime charges, it is important to have a strong and comprehensive defense strategy that fits your particular situation.
At the Law Office of Joshua S. Reed, we are dedicated to defending individuals who are facing property crimes charges. As experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorneys, our team will review every aspect of your case, conduct a comprehensive, private investigation, and determine a strategic course of action. We will fight vigorously to defend your rights and refute the charges against you with overwhelming evidence.