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Law sets up mandatory sentences for burglary

A slew of new laws are going on the books this year, and one of them will have a profound impact on burglary cases. For those convicted of repeated offenses -- three or more -- for aggravated burglary, there are now going to be minimum mandatory sentences in Tennessee.

The law will set the minimum time to be served for a third offense or any subsequent offense at 85 percent. In addition, the felony thresholds will be altered for property theft.

They will be as follows:

-- The threshold for a Class A misdemeanor will move from $500 to $1,000.-- The threshold for a Class E felony will increase from the previous $500 to $1,000 range to a new $1,000-$2,500 range.-- Similar movement will happen for a Class D felony, as it moves from the $1,000 to $10,000 range to a new $2,500 to $10,000 range.

When asked about the changes, one state senator said that the main duty that the government has is to keep citizens safe. He said they felt this new law, with the minimum sentences, would do that. He noted that people would be "safer in their homes" because those who repeatedly broke into those homes would be behind bars for longer periods of time.

Of course, new laws take funding. This one -- which also addresses things like domestic violence and drug trafficking -- gets its funding from the state budget. An appropriation of $18 million will be used.

Anyone who has been accused of a crime in Tennessee needs to be aware of this change. Mandatory sentences can have a huge impact on the court case and you have to know what ramifications you could face, what the charges leveled against you mean for your future, and what legal options you have.

Source: The Chattanoogan, "Anti-Crime Legislation Among 29 New Tennessee Laws Set To Take Effect Jan. 1," Dec. 28, 2016

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