Go to Homepage
QR Code



Criminal Trespass and Burglary to a Dwelling in Wisconsin

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Milwaukee burglary charges defense attorneys, criminal trespassIn Wisconsin, it is a crime to enter someone else’s home without the occupant’s permission. Depending on the circumstances, the accused could face criminal trespass charges or burglary charges.

Being charged with either crime is a serious matter, although burglary carries higher penalties. Retaining qualified criminal defense counsel will mean that an accused’s Constitutional rights are safeguarded and that his or her case will be thoroughly investigated by a professional. 

If you have been charged with criminal trespass or burglary, there are a number of defenses that may be available to you based on the facts of your case. 

Criminal Trespass to Dwelling Defined

The first requirement for the crime of criminal trespass of a dwelling is that the structure at issue must meet the definition of dwelling. Typically, defendants who break into homes will be punished more severely than ones who break into businesses or other structures. 

In Wisconsin law, a dwelling is a structure (or part thereof) that is used, or intended to be used, as a home by at least one person. A structure will be considered a dwelling even if it is not occupied by the resident at the time of the alleged crime. 

If the dwelling requirement is met, the prosecution must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  • The accused intentionally entered or remained in another’s dwelling;
  • The accused did not have consent of the owner or someone else who was lawfully on the premises; and
  • The accused’s presence tended to create or provoke a breach of the peace.
  • Punishment for Criminal Trespass Conviction

First offense criminal trespass of a dwelling is a Class A misdemeanor. This classification means that you could be facing up to nine months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

Burglary to a Dwelling Defined

Burglary of a dwelling is a more serious crime than criminal trespass and requires that the accused have intent to commit a felony inside or steal from the property.

To be convicted of burglary the prosecution must prove that:

  • The accused intentionally entered the dwelling;
  • The accused did not have consent of a person in lawful possession of the property; and
  • The accused had the intent to steal or commit a felony in the dwelling.

You can also be accused of burglary of a non-dwelling structure. 

Punishment for Burglary to a Dwelling

First offense burglary is a Class F felony. This classification means you could be facing up to 12 years and six months in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

Contact a Milwaukee, WI, Criminal Trespass Charges Lawyer

If you are facing charges or are concerned you may be facing charges, you should meet with a lawyer before speaking with police or prosecutors. Hiring a lawyer or having one with you when you speak to the authorities does not reflect on whether you are guilty. 

Call the accomplished Milwaukee burglary charges defense attorneys at Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP at 414-271-1440



Back to Top