What is Theft?
Under Wisconsin law, theft can mean a variety of things. If you’re charged with theft, know that the law considers a number of situations to be fitting of a criminal charge, including:
- Obtaining title to property that belongs to another person through deceit or false representation with the intent to defraud
- Intentionally taking, carrying away, using, transferring, concealing or retaining possession of someone else’s property without their consent and with the intent to deprive the owner permanently of possession of the property
- Intentionally failing to return any personal property in your possession or under your control when you are supposed to return it, such as with a lease or rental agreement
- Using, transferring, concealing or retaining possession of money, security, paper or re-writing through your employment or business without the owner’s consent and contrary to your authority there
The state can charge you with theft if they believe that you stole money or property, which can include any material items of value that belong to someone other than yourself.
What Are the Penalties for Theft in Wisconsin?
If you’re convicted of theft, you could end up paying hefty fines or spending time behind bars. Typically, the consequences vary based on the value of the property in question.
Typically, if the value is under $2,500, it’s a Class A misdemeanor. If the property’s value is between $2,500 and $5,000, the crime is a Class I felony. Between $5,000 and $10,000, it’s a Class H felony, and if the property’s value is more than $10,000, it’s a Class G felony.
Remember that if you’re convicted of theft, it will stay on your criminal record permanently unless you later petition the court to have it expunged or sealed.
What to Do if You’re Charged With Theft in Milwaukee or Waukesha
If you’re accused of theft, the first thing you should do is get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer in Milwaukee or Waukesha. You don’t have to talk to investigators; in fact, you shouldn’t say anything until you’ve spoken with your lawyer.
Your attorney will be able to give you guidance and begin formulating a solid defense based on the facts of your case.
Call our Milwaukee and Waukesha criminal defense lawyers today at 414-383-6700 if you have been accused of taking something that isn’t yours. If it’s easier, you can also contact us online. We’ll be happy to give you a free consultation and provide the help you deserve.