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What Are the Top Five Crimes Committed in Tennessee?

 Posted on May 01,2020 in Criminal Defense

Knox County theft crimes defense attorney

Every city and state has particular crime tendencies that shift year to year, and Tennessee is no exception. There are two levels of offenses identified by Tennessee law enforcement — Group A and Group B. Group A offenses, are much more serious and the list is much longer than Group B. Examples of these include arson, homicide, fraud, and human trafficking. Group B includes offenses such as disorderly conduct and driving under the influence (DUI). There were approximately 552,000 Group A offenses reported in 2018. We have outlined the top five Group A offenses from the most recent data released by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. In 2018, the following crimes had the highest numbers:

Simple Assault

There are two levels of assault, with simple assault being a less serious crime. In 2018, a little over 81,000 simple assault cases were reported. A person who knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly inflicts physical injury or causes someone to fear physical injury may be charged with assault. This is a Class A misdemeanor that can lead to incarceration of up to one year and fines up to $15,000.

Destruction of Property

This group of offenses includes a number of acts, and according to the 2018 crime report, there were almost 48,000 reports of property destruction, damage, and vandalism. These are all property crimes that fall under the same umbrella. This crime is punished based on the value of the property that was damaged, and charges can range from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class A felony. A class A felony can lead to incarceration for 15-60 years and fines up to $50,000.


With over 40,000 reported shoplifting cases in 2018, Tennessee has seen its fair share of retail theft. In a similar manner to the destruction of property, the consequences for shoplifting vary depending upon the price of the goods stolen. For low-priced items, no criminal charges may be issued, but for high-dollar items, an alleged offender could be charged with a Class A felony.


A person who enters a private building or property with the intent to commit theft, assault, or another felony may be charged with burglary. Approximately 33,000 of such cases were reported in Tennessee in 2018. Depending on the type of property that is entered illegally, the charge can be a Class D or Class E felony. Class D felonies can lead to incarceration of 2-12 years and fines up to $5,000, while Class E felonies can lead to incarceration of one to six years and fines up to $3,000.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault charges may apply if a person allegedly committed the same actions as simple assault while in possession of a deadly weapon. Just over 32,000 aggravated assault offenses were reported. The charges get significantly more serious if an aggravated assault is committed against the following individuals: a child, a law enforcement officer, firefighter, paramedic, healthcare provider, or any other first responder. All aggravated assaults are classified as felonies in Tennessee.

Call a Knoxville, TN Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are facing any of the aforementioned criminal charges, you should seek out an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent you in court. Whether you are being charged with a Group A or a Group B crime, having a stain on your record could negatively affect your future and keep you from opportunities that you deserve. Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney, believes that everyone should be given a second chance. These opportunities can be hard to come by without proper legal counsel. Our dedicated attorneys have years of experience defending clients throughout Tennessee for many different types of crimes. Contact our skilled Knox County theft defense lawyers at 865-281-1000 to schedule a free consultation today.


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