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Wisconsin Shoplifting Charges Vary Widely

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Wisconsin defense attorney, Wisconsin criminal lawyer, Wisconsin criminal statutesShoplifting is a common theft crime to be charged with, and in Wisconsin the penalties can range from non-criminal tickets to felony charges, depending on the value of what was taken. It is important to not only be familiar with the laws governing theft in Wisconsin, but also the laws specifically related to shoplifting. The law in this area is varied, and if you have been arrested for shoplifting, you need experienced legal help to guide you through the many regulations.

Wisconsin Laws Governing Theft

There are a number of circumstances in which you may be charged by the prosecutor with theft. For example, intentionally taking the property of another without their consent and with the intent to deprive the owner permanently of possession of the property is one form of theft. Using fraud or deceit to obtain the title to property of another person is also theft under Wisconsin law, as is using or otherwise retaining possession of money through your employment or business without consent. Even intentionally failing to return personal property erroneously left on your premises can be theft. Shoplifting, also called retail theft, falls under the first category.

When Can You Be Criminally Charged with Shoplifting?

If you have been given a ticket for shoplifting for under $100, then you are not being charged with a crime. This happens frequently, if the value of what was allegedly taken is low, or there are other reasons which encourage the police to treat it as a minor infraction. If you were issued a shoplifting ticket in error, then you should consult an attorney about your rights. However, in most cases, the sensible decision is to pay the ticket and move on.

If, however, you are issued a shoplifting ticket for over $100, you will likely be charged with a crime. The exact shoplifting charge and penalty then depends on the value of what was allegedly shoplifted. As the value of the alleged theft increases, so do the penalties for retail theft and the need for an aggressive legal defense.

Penalties for Shoplifting

Again, if the property you are alleged to have shoplifted is worth less than $100, you will be issued a ticket, which is nothing more than a simple fine. There is no criminal charge attached to the ticket. If you are charged with shoplifting merchandise valued between $100 and $2,500, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. This is a serious misdemeanor charge, as it carries up to nine months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If you are accused of shoplifting merchandise valued between $2,500 and $5,000, you will be charged with a Class I felony, and you will be facing the same fine and up to 3.5 years in prison. Shoplifting merchandise valued between $5,000 and $10,000 is treated as a Class H felony, and while the fine stays the same, you may face up to six years in prison. Finally, if the value of what was allegedly shoplifted exceeds $10,000, you will be charged with a Class G felony. This charge carries up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

Let Our Attorneys Assist You

Our skilled Milwaukee criminal defense attorneys have significant experience defending shoplifting charges and an understanding of how devastating a guilty verdict can be. Our goal from day one will be to reduce and minimize any shoplifting charge brought against you, and attempt to keep your case out of the courtroom and you out of prison. Our attorneys are ready to defend you against shoplifting charges, so call us at 414-271-1440 or send us an e-mail today. Source: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/943/III/50
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