What is Petty Theft in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re like most people, you’ve heard the term petty theft – and in Wisconsin, while the law doesn’t specifically call it petty theft, it’s the act of taking something of value (usually a relatively low value) that doesn’t belong to you and getting caught.

What is Petty Theft in Wisconsin?

“Petty theft” typically refers to the theft of something of low value. Low value is definitely subjective when it comes to people, but the law is pretty clear – and typically, under Wisconsin law, it means Class A misdemeanor theft.

In order for a theft to be a Class A misdemeanor, the value of the property must be less than $2,500. (See what we mean about subjectivity? $2,500 is a lot of money.)

Related: Misdemeanor theft charges in Milwaukee

The Legal Definition of Petty Theft in Wisconsin

The legal definition of theft is when someone “intentionally takes and carries away, uses, transfers, conceals or retains 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 really just means taking something that doesn’t belong to you when you’re not borrowing it and you don’t intend to give it back.

Wisconsin puts theft offenses into categories based on the value of the property involved. If the property is valued at $2,500 or less, it’s a misdemeanor; if it’s more, it’s felony theft. When it’s a felony, the value of the property determines the degree. Here’s how theft breaks down:

  • Class I felony: Property valued between $2,501 and $5,000
  • Class H felony: Property valued between $5,001 and $10,000
  • Class G felony: Property valued over $10,000

What to Do if You’re Charged With Petty Theft in Milwaukee

If you’re accused of petty theft in Milwaukee or any of its suburbs, we may be able to help you. Call us right away at 414-383-6700 for a free case review. You’ll talk to an experienced theft defense attorney who will answer your questions and talk about possible outcomes for your case.

Carlos Gamino