Theft is a pretty broad term under Wisconsin law, but it generally refers to any offense in which one person has or takes control of someone else’s property. The key is that the accused person must have the intent to permanently deprive the other person of the property – so you can’t be convicted of theft if you picked up a backpack from the floor, put it on a chair so nobody tripped over it and then walked away, for example.
There are many crimes that fall under the term theft, including:
You can be convicted of armed robbery if you took something with the intent to steal it and you threatened to use – or actually used – a dangerous weapon.
Armed robbery is a Class C felony, and you could spend up to 25 years in prison with 15 years of extended supervision. You can also be fined up to $100,000.
Burglary, which is commonly called breaking and entering, occurs when you intentionally enter a building without consent (and you know you don’t have the owner or occupier’s consent) while you have the intent to steal something or commit a felony.
Burglary is a Class F felony, and you could spend up to 7 years and 6 months in prison with 5 years of extended supervision. A judge can also order you to pay fines of up to $25,000.
Embezzlement is when you take money that belongs to another person because of his or her employment, or you intentionally use the money without its owner’s consent or don’t have the authority to do so, when you know that you can’t take or use it. You must also intend to convert the money to your own use, or another person’s use (not the owner’s use).
Embezzlement sentencing depends on the amount of money involved:
- If the amount was $25,000 or less, it’s a Class A misdemeanor
- If the amount was between $2,500 and $5,000, it’s a Class I felony
- If the amount was between $5,000 and $10,000, it’s a Class H felony
- If the amount is greater than $10,000, it’s a Class G felony
Other Types of Theft Charges in Wisconsin
There are several other types of theft charges available in Wisconsin, as well, including:
- Entry Into a locked vehicle
- Identity theft
- Motor vehicle theft
- Receiving stolen property
- Retail theft
Each of these has its own set of consequences, but one thing is for sure: If you’re accused of any type of theft, it’s a good idea to get legal advice from an experienced attorney.
If you need to talk to a lawyer about theft charges, call us right away at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney. We may be able to help you get the best possible outcome.