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What Are the Consequences for Property Crimes in Wisconsin?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

By: Attorney Jorge Fragoso

Numerous actions may cause a person to be arrested and charged with a criminal offense, and the penalties they may face will depend on the specific laws they are accused of violating and the harm that was done to their alleged victims. While there are many different ways to categorize criminal offenses, many crimes can be divided into two broad groups: crimes against persons and crimes against property. The latter are some of the most commonly committed offenses, and even though they may seem less serious, since they may not result in physical harm to a person, a conviction can still lead to significant penalties. Those who have been accused of property crimes will need to understand how the laws address their specific situation, as well as the potential defenses that may be available.

Wisconsin Property Crimes

Crimes against property may involve damage to someone’s property, illegally entering property such as a building, or misappropriation of money or property belonging to someone else. These charges include:

  • Theft - Also known as larceny, this is a broad category of crimes that includes multiple situations where a person takes money or property belonging to someone else, with the intent of depriving the original owner of possession of the property. The charges a person may face will depend on the circumstances of the theft and the value of the property that was taken. Basic theft is a misdemeanor in cases where property is valued at less than $2,500 and a felony for property over $2,500. However, retail theft, or shoplifting, in which items are stolen from a store or a person caused the store owner to receive less than the full value of an item, may be charged as a misdemeanor for goods worth up to $500. Felony charges may apply if the products or services allegedly stolen are worth more than that amount.

  • Robbery - Charges will often become more serious if a person is accused of taking property from someone through force, including by physically overcoming any resistance or threatening to cause harm to a person. These actions may result in Class E felony charges, but if a person used, carried, or threatened to use a deadly or dangerous weapon, a charge may be elevated to a Class C felony.

  • Burglary - Also known as breaking and entering, this crime may apply if a person is accused of entering property while intending to commit theft or any other felony. It can occur in a home, a building, or other private property, including a vehicle, a boat, the trailer of a truck, or a railroad car. Burglary is usually a Class F felony, but it may be elevated to a Class E felony in cases where an alleged offender was carrying a weapon, gained access to property through the use of explosives, or entered a home while the owner or another person was present inside the property.

  • Damage to property - Intentionally causing damage to someone else’s physical property, which is commonly known as vandalism, may result in misdemeanor charges. A charge may be elevated to a felony if a person allegedly damaged public roads, bridges, railroads, public utilities, or landmarks on state-owned land or if they caused more than $2,500 in damage. Arson, or damaging someone else’s property without their consent through the use of fire or explosives, may result in Class C felony charges.

Contact Our Milwaukee Property Crime Defense Lawyers

There are multiple possible defenses that may be available to those who are charged with offenses such as theft, robbery, burglary, or vandalism, including showing that there was no intent to steal property or that money or items were given to a person consensually. At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, we ensure that our clients have the proper legal representation in criminal cases, and we fight to protect their rights at all times and help them resolve these matters successfully. Contact our Milwaukee, WI property crimes attorneys at 414-271-1440 to get legal help with your case.

Sources:

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/943

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/939/iv/50


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