Wisconsin, like many states, defines different types of theft in its criminal laws. Understanding theft charges is essential for those facing legal penalties for property crimes.
Review the answers to frequently asked questions about Wisconsin theft offenses.
What is theft in Wisconsin?
Anyone who takes and intentionally deprives someone else of his or her property can receive Wisconsin theft charges. In addition to typical theft, this also includes embezzlement, diversion of title or deed, and failure to return rented or leased property.
The state categorizes levels of theft based on the value of stolen items, ranging from a Class A misdemeanor for theft of less than $2,500 to felony charges for theft exceeding $10,000. The state can also elevate theft penalties in certain circumstances, such as stealing someone’s pet or farm animal.
When does theft become robbery?
When a person commits theft using threat or force, he or she can receive Wisconsin robbery charges. This Class E felony offense can result in fines of up to $50,000 and a prison sentence of up to 15 years.
What actions constitute burglary?
Wisconsin can charge someone with burglary when he or she enters another person’s home, workplace or vehicle intending to commit theft or another felony. The state considers this offense a Class F felony, which can result in a fine of up to $25,000 and a prison sentence of up to 12 years and six months. The court can increase these charges to Class E when the person had a weapon.
The answers to these questions can help individuals facing charges of burglary, robbery or theft in Wisconsin determine their next steps.