An Overview: Burglary, Theft, Shoplifting and Robbery
The act of stealing is one of the oldest crimes that people commit against each other. However, the simple act of taking something that does not lawfully belong to you can take on many forms and the penalties can vary greatly. The following section provides a breakdown on most types of stealing. If you are charged with any of these offenses in Tennessee, it is in your best interest to contact a knowledgeable Tennessee theft attorney as soon as you are booked. Even charges that may appear insignificant can stay with you for years and carry long-term consequences. Let an experienced attorney assist you in your case.
According to Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-13-401, a robbery or theft is committed when a person steals something from a person without his or her knowledge or in the presence of a person by force or violence. There are three different categories of robbery under Tennessee law:
- Simple robbery, such as shoplifting or stealing an untended car
- Aggravated robbery, a robbery when using a deadly weapon or something that might be construed as a weapon
- Especially aggravated robbery, a robbery that is achieved by use of a deadly weapon, such as a gun, which causes serious injury to the victim
The crime of burglary has a definite pop-culture image perpetuated by Hollywood and literature, but the actual legal definition has really nothing to do with the act of theft. The act of burglary is generally defined as the act of entering a building without the effective consent of the owner with the intent to commit a felony.
Shoplifting is a form of burglary. For example, a person can lawfully enter a store but in stealing an item or intending to steal an item that person can then be charged with burglary. Also entry into a location for the purpose of theft does not require just bodily entry. A burglary can be charged if a person uses any item to gain access to a location. Using a computer to hack into the computer of another person for the purpose of theft is considered burglary.
Any charge of burglary or robbery can be extremely serious and if you are faced with these charges, it is highly recommended to consult a Tennessee robbery attorney. Our Jackson criminal lawyers can advise you of all your legal options and help you mount the best legal defense possible.