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Theft in Mt. Juliet County

In a simple sense, theft in Tennessee is when a person takes something without the consent of the owner. In 1989, the Tennessee Legislature combined embezzlement, false pretense, larceny, receiving stolen property, and other similar offenses into the single crime of theft. While there are still several different kinds of theft, punishable by a range of sentences, the generic theft statute in Tennessee is T.C.A. § 39-14-103, which gives this definition for theft of property:

“A person commits theft of property if, with intent to deprive the owner of property, the person knowingly obtains or exercises control over the property without the owner's effective consent.”

Depending on the amount of the property stolen and the persons criminal history, theft can range from a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, all the way up to a Class B felony, carrying a penalty of 8 to 30 years in prison.

Theft of Services

Someone can commit theft of services in several ways, but the main idea is that a person uses deception, fraud, coercion, or another means to avoid paying for services duly rendered. An example of this would be eating at a restaurant and then leaving without paying. Theft of services is punished just like theft of property.


Tennessee defines this offense as forging a writing with the intent to harm or defraud someone else. To “forge” a writing can mean making false entries in accounts or records, or even possessing such a document with the intent to use it in a way that defrauds or otherwise harms another. Forgery is punishable just like theft, but the law is clear that it will never be punished as less than a Class E felony—meaning, the minimum sentence for this offense is 1 to 6 years in prison, depending on the criminal history of the individual.


In Tennessee, Extortion is a Class D felony, punishable by 2 to 12 years imprisonment. Extortion is using coercion with the intent to obtain property, services, advantage, immunity, or to restrict another’s freedom of action unlawfully. It could also mean using coercion to obtain something of value from any entity or to impair that entity from exercising any lawful right or privilege.

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