CategoryFiled under: West Tennessee Counties

The authorities in Tipton County, Tennessee and the city of Covington prosecute shoplifting and theft cases fully.  This article will explain the laws and court procedures that govern these kinds of cases.  If you are facing a Tipton County shoplifting charge, contact a Covington, TN criminal lawyer for legal help. Under Tennessee law, theft is graded by dollar amounts.  The higher the value of the property, the more serious the charge will be.  Theft of property $500 or less is a Class A misdemeanor punishable up to 11 months and 29 days.  Most Covington shoplifting charges will fall into this category, although theft of property greater than $500 in value is a felony.  For someone charged with shoplifting in Covington or Tipton County, TN, the case will be sent to the Tipton County General Sessions court.  Your first court appearance may be an arraignment, where you will appear before the judge and be informed of the charges.  You’ll also need to have your lawyer with you.  You should contact a Covington shoplifting defense lawyer beforehand for representation. At court you and your lawyer will be given an offer by the state of Tennessee.  The offer is the state’s proposal to dispose of the case without a trial.  Anyone charged with an offense can elect to have a trial and make the state prove its case, but for an offense like a Covington shoplifting charge it’s usually best to work the case out through a settlement.  First and foremost, you want to insure that the case does not go on your record as a permanent conviction.  Tennessee law allows this for individuals who qualify.  For first-time offenders, that is people who have no prior criminal convictions (speeding tickets don’t count against you here), they may be placed on supervised probation for the length of sentence that the crime carries.  If a theft case carries an 11 month/29 day sentence, that would be the length of probation.  During probation you’d have to observe special conditions placed by the judge, the most important of which is to not get another criminal charge.  Being arrested while on probation is grounds for a violation, and if the judge finds you in violation you could be sentenced to jail.  For a charge like shoplifting, the judge may also order community service, restitution, and theft cessation classes.  A Covington, TN shoplifting lawyer can help you get enrolled in probation and handle the case for you.  Once the probation is over you go back to court to have the charges dismissed.  You must be in full compliance with probation, and have paid all court costs and fees.  After the dismissal your lawyer can prepare an order that removes the charge from your record.  Having a shoplifting conviction on your record brands you as a thief for life and can prevent you from getting a job.  A Covington shoplifting defense lawyer can insure that the case is handled appropriately, with no loose ends or lingering questions.  Please contact Patrick Stegall, a Covington TN shoplifting lawyer for help with your case.  You may call him at (901) 205-9894 or email at

Call Stegall Law Firm at 901-205-9894 for more information

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