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What Are the Penalties for Robbery or Carjacking in Wisconsin?

 Posted on April 24, 2024 in Theft

Milwaukee, WI criminal defense lawyerThere are a variety of different ways to classify crimes. For example, property crimes generally involve accusations of theft or claims that someone has taken or destroyed property belonging to someone else. Violent crimes involve accusations that a person has caused harm to others or threatened to do so. However, some offenses may fall under more than one category. Robbery is one such crime, since it involves both the theft of property and the use or threat of violence. 

Anyone who has been accused of committing robbery or the related offense of carjacking will need to understand the potential penalties they may face and their options for defense. An experienced attorney can provide invaluable guidance in these situations, representing those who have been accused and helping them navigate through the complexities of their cases.

What Is Robbery?

Robbery is a serious crime in Wisconsin. It is defined under state law as the act of taking property from someone through force. This crime generally involves the use of physical strength to overcome resistance or the threat of using force or inflicting harm in order to take property directly from another person against their will. 

Examples of Robbery

There are multiple situations where a person may be charged with robbery, including:

  • Mugging: A person may accost someone on the street and threaten to inflict harm if they do not turn over their wallet, purse, or other valuables.

  • Store hold-up: A person may use a weapon to threaten a cashier at a store and demand money from the register.

  • Snatching a bag: Forcibly pulling a purse or bag from someone's grasp may constitute robbery, since it involves the use of strength to overcome the person’s resistance.

Carjacking: A Specific Type of Robbery

Carjacking is a crime that is similar to robbery, but it is classified as a separate offense under Wisconsin law. Carjacking involves taking a vehicle without the consent of the owner through force or the threat of force, including when a person is armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon. This offense is often treated more seriously than other forms of robbery due to the potential harm that may be suffered by victims or others on the road.

Penalties for Robbery and Carjacking

In most cases, robbery or carjacking are treated as felony offenses, and those who are convicted of these offenses can face severe penalties. Charges and their potential penalties include:

  • Robbery: Taking property through the use of physical force or when threatening to use force or inflict harm is a Class E felony. A person who is convicted may be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison and fined up to $50,000.

  • Armed robbery: If a person possesses or uses a dangerous weapon, such as a gun or a knife, when committing robbery, or if he causes the alleged victim to reasonably believe that he is armed with a dangerous weapon, the robbery charge may be escalated to a Class C felony. These types of felonies carry a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and a maximum fine of $100,000.

  • Carjacking: Taking a vehicle through force or the threat of force may result in Class E felony charges.

  • Armed carjacking. If a person possessed a dangerous weapon and threatened to use it against the alleged victim when taking a vehicle, he may be charged with a Class B felony. If convicted of this offense, he could face a sentence of up to 60 years in prison.

  • Accessory to carjacking: A person who accompanies someone else as a passenger in a vehicle that was taken through carjacking may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, and if convicted, he could be sentenced to up to nine months in prison and fined up to $10,000.

Contact Our Milwaukee Robbery Defense Attorneys

Charges related to robbery or carjacking are very serious, and because of the harsh penalties that may apply upon conviction, it is crucial to work with an experienced lawyer to determine the options for defense. At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, our Milwaukee, WI robbery and carjacking attorneys have experience defending clients in a wide variety of criminal cases, and we can help protect the rights of defendants while working to resolve these cases successfully. Contact us at 414-271-1440 to set up a consultation today.

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