Legal Info

Property Crimes

Property crimes in Tennessee truly run the gamut. Everything from stealing a pack of gum from a neighborhood convenience store to arson all falls under the umbrella of property crime. To give a bit more insight into the issue of property crime,the following explanation will run down some of the important categories and possible penalties.


The most common property crime in Tennessee is vandalism. The law says a person is guilty of vandalism if he or she knowingly or deliberately causes damage to the property of another person. Vandalism is treated under the law as a kind of theft and the punishment for the crime depends on the value of the property that was destroyed. The greater the loss the more time you’ll be spending in jail. Class A misdemeanors include those acts of vandalism where the loss was less than $500 and carry up to a year in jail and $2,500 in fines.


Trespassing happens when someone who knowingly lacks consent enters another person’s property. An example of an occasion where Tennessee law deems a person to knowingly lack consent is if there’s a fence around someone’s property, a symbol the law says conveys the owner’s lack of consent. Criminal trespass is a Class C Misdemeanor and can be punished by a fine or a sentence of up to 30 days in jail.


Another common property crime is burglary. In Tennessee, burglary takes place when one person enters a building or vehicle without authorization with the intent to commit a felony, theft or assault. Aggravated burglary is the same crime, but it must take place in someone’s home. Finally, especially aggravated burglary exists in cases where someone has suffered serious bodily injury. Burglary convictions can involve Class E or D felonies while a conviction for aggravated burglary, a Class C felony, can lead to a prison term of between three and 15 years.


Arson is one of the most serious varieties of property crime due to the potential for serious bodily harm it presents as well as the typically large financial loss.Arson is defined as knowingly damaging any structure by fire without consent.Arson is a Class C felony and comes with a possible three to six years behind bars for first time offenders. This number rises up to 15 years for those with extensive criminal histories. If a person is present in the structure at the time of the act of arson, the criminal defendant faces greatly increased punishment, with between 15 and 60 years in prison and fines of up to $50,000.

Find a lawyer ⟶

Or call us! We're here to help.

Monday - Friday

8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.