Being arrested for shoplifting is scary. If you’re like most people, you’re worried about the impact of the charge on your future. Will it affect your job? What about your living arrangements? Could it result in jail time?
These are all perfectly reasonable questions to ask – and the first person you should talk to is a Milwaukee shoplifting lawyer who can give you the answers you need.
Shoplifting and Retail Theft in Wisconsin: What it Means
Wisconsin law defines shoplifting as taking something without a merchant’s consent and with the intent to keep it without paying for it.
You could be charged with shoplifting if you purposely:
- Change the price on an item
- Take and carry away merchandise
- Hide merchandise that a seller intends to sell
- Remove a theft detection device
- Use a theft detection shielding device
- Fail or refuse to pay for a service after you’ve received it
The Consequences of Shoplifting in Wisconsin
There are different consequences for shoplifting, and they depend on the value of the property involved.
If the property is valued:
- Under $2,500, it is considered a Class A misdemeanor.
- Between $2,501 and $5,000, it is considered a Class I felony.
- Between $5,001 and $10,000, it is considered a Class H felony.
- More than $10,000, it is considered a Class G felony.
What to Do if You’re Charged with Shoplifting in Wisconsin
Before you speak to investigators, call a Wisconsin shoplifting lawyer who can protect your rights. You don’t have to answer any questions, and in fact, you shouldn’t answer any questions until you’ve had a chance to speak with your attorney.
Because any charge of shoplifting could result in fines, jail time or other adverse consequences, it’s important that you tell your attorney exactly what happened so he or she can begin building a solid defense for you.