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Defending against Theft Charges in Wisconsin

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Wisconsin defense attorney, Wisconsin criminal lawyer, Wisconsin criminal lawsThroughout history, theft has been interchangeably identified as larceny. Under Wisconsin law, a larceny or theft is committed when an individual intentionally “takes and carries away, uses, transfers, conceals, or retains possession of movable property of another without the other's consent and with intent to deprive the owner permanently of possession of such property.”

If you or someone you loved was wrongly charged with committing a theft, you should contact an experienced theft defense attorney who will evaluate your case and advise you of the best course of action depending on the circumstances of your case.

Elements of Theft

A theft is committed in a variety of ways. The prosecution is required to prove each and every element of theft beyond a reasonable doubt. In order to be convicted of theft, the prosecution has to prove:

  • That you unlawfully took the property of another without their consent;
  • That you carried the property away from where the owner placed it or intended to place it;
  • That the property belonged to someone other than you; and
  • That you permanently intended to deprive the owner of the property.

A defense to any of these elements is fatal to the prosecution’s case. If you took the property reasonably believing that it was yours, then the prosecution would not be able to prove that you intentionally took the property because it was inadvertent.

For example, say you went to a restaurant and you were given a ticket when you checked a coat in. When you are done eating, you go to the clerk to retrieve your coat. You give your ticket to the clerk and the clerk gives you someone else’s coat. Here, you did not intentionally steal the coat; it was given to you through no fault of your own. Your actions here would be reasonable and cannot be said to be intentional. Unfortunately, not every case is as simple as this example.

Types of Theft

There are many types of theft that you could possibly be charged with. These types include: auto theft; petty theft; felony theft; theft by embezzlement; theft by possession; and theft by deception.

Life Changing Consequences

A theft charge, whether it is petty, felony, or even by embezzlement, will have a significant impact on the rest of your life. Depending on the circumstances, if you are convicted you could face a possible $10,000 fine or up to 10 years in prison. On top of those punishments, there is a high chance that you will have to pay restitution to the individual or business you are alleged to have stolen from.

These consequences can impact your ability to obtain future employment or even financial aid for college. That is why it is important for you to fight every element of the charge. Your future is not something you should gamble on.

Consult an Attorney

If you or a loved one is accused of theft, you should immediately contact an experienced Milwaukee criminal defense attorney to preserve your rights, hold the prosecution to its burden and get the justice you deserve.

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