In Wisconsin, burglary is a Class F felony. If the court convicts you, you’ll spend up to 7 years and 6 months in prison – and you could be sentenced to up to 5 additional years of extended supervision after you get out of prison. The judge could also fine you up to $25,000. If you were armed at the time you committed the burglary, you could spend 10 years in prison and pay fines of up to $50,000.
But what is burglary, and how is it a felony when other, similar crimes are misdemeanors?
Here’s what you need to know.
Why is Burglary a Felony in Wisconsin?
It’s a crime to go on someone else’s property without permission. When you commit burglary, you can be convicted of a felony, whereas when you trespass, it’s typically a misdemeanor. The big difference is that burglary involves entering a building so you can commit a crime inside; trespassing is just going on someone’s property without permission.
For example, if you jump over your neighbor’s fence just to see if you can do it – even if a group of your friends jumps over with you – and you aren’t there to break into her house or damage her property, you’re most likely only guilty of trespassing. However, if you break into her house because you intend to spray paint on her walls and steal her television set, you’re most likely guilty of burglary.
In Wisconsin, the court can find you guilty of felony burglary if you enter a building, an enclosed railroad car or ship, a locked and enclosed cargo portion of a truck or trailer, a motor home or a trailer without permission with the intent to commit a theft or felony.
What About Aggravated Burglaries?
The court can punish you more severely if you:
- Are armed or become armed during the burglary
- Try to open a safe or vault with explosives
- Commit battery against an occupant
The court can also punish you more severely if you commit burglary at a dwelling, motor home or trailer, or a boat with sleeping quarters when another person (other than someone who’s committing the crime with you) is present while you commit the crime.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Felony Burglary Charges?
If you need to talk to an attorney about whether burglary is a felony or what types of consequences you’re facing for a burglary charge, we may be able to help you. Call us right now at 414-383-6700 or get in touch with us online to schedule your free consultation.