Misdemeanor theft is a serious crime in Milwaukee—don’t let the term misdemeanor fool you. For most people, it’s best to talk to a Wisconsin theft defense lawyer as soon as possible; an attorney can talk to you about your rights under Wisconsin law, explain the possible consequences of a conviction, and represent your best interests in court.
What is Misdemeanor Theft in Milwaukee?
The state can find you guilty of misdemeanor theft in Milwaukee if, under Wisconsin law, you intentionally take and carry away, use, transfer, conceal or retain possession of movable property of another without the other’s consent and with intent to deprive the owner permanently of possession of such property.
That means if you knew the owner didn’t give his or her consent to you taking the property, but you took it anyway in order to use, sell (or give away), hide or keep it, the judge or jury could convict you.
Misdemeanor theft is different from retail theft, which is a separate crime with its own set of penalties.
Penalties for Misdemeanor Theft in Wisconsin
If the value of the property is under $2,500, you’re facing a Class A misdemeanor. If it’s over that amount, the crime becomes a felony. A crime that would ordinarily be a misdemeanor because of the property’s value also becomes a felony if:
- You took it from someone’s person (such as purse-snatching)
- You took it from a corpse, a patient or resident of certain facilities, or a vulnerable adult
- You took it from a building that had been destroyed or abandoned because of physical disaster, riot (such as looting), bombing, or the proximity of battle
- You took it after a physical disaster, riot, bombing or the proximity of battle necessitated its removal from a building
The penalty for committing a Class A misdemeanor is a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment for up to nine months, or a combination of the two.
Have You Been Accused of Misdemeanor Theft in Milwaukee?
If you’ve been accused of—or charged with—misdemeanor theft in Milwaukee, Waukesha or the surrounding communities, call our criminal defense team right away at 414-383-6700. If it’s easier, get in touch with us online for case-specific legal advice.