CategoryFiled under: Shoplifting

If you’ve been charged with shoplifting in Bartlett, TN there are two things you need to know right off the bat. First, you’ll have to go to court and face the judge. There aren’t like speeding tickets where you just mail in a payment to the clerk and don’t ever have to go inside a courtroom. You will have to go to Bartlett City Court, with a lawyer. Second, they take these cases very seriously in Bartlett, and under Tennessee law shoplifting carries many penalties. Most shoplifting charges in this state are misdemeanors punishable up to 11 months and 29 days. First-time offenders have the opportunity to not only avoid jail time, but also remove the charge from their record. But it’s going to take some work. Like many states Tennessee has a diversion law which allows certain non-violent crimes to be removed from a first-time offender’s record. You must plead guilty to the charge and then ask the judge to place you on probation for the 11 month-29 day period. As long you as do not have any prior convictions, you shouldn’t have any problem getting into diversion. Once you’re on probation, you’re required to abide by any orders and conditions that the court places. The biggest requirement is not being charged with another crime. If this happens you can be sentenced to jail for the entire probation period. In Bartlett you must also pay a $250 probation fee to the court. If you successfully complete probation then you will go back to court at the end to have the charge dismissed, then you can get it cleared from your record. A Bartlett shoplifting lawyer can walk you through this process and will be at your side for every court appearance. There is another way to handle a Tennessee shoplifting charge that does not require a year of probation. It’s a more informal process called restitution, where you simply pay a fine to the store and the charge is dropped. But this process is not always available, and you are not entitled to it by law like you are with diversion. Plus, I mentioned that they are tough on these cases in Bartlett, and the court generally does not approve of restitution-only settlements. They want defendants to do their whole year of probation. If you have been charged with theft in Bartlett, contact Memphis shoplifting lawyer Patrick Stegall. Mr. Stegall specializes in helping first-time offenders through the court system, and insuring that his clients have criminal charges cleared from their record. For help, please contact him at (901) 205-9894 or by email at

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