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Could I Be Arrested for Switching Price Tags in Wisconsin?

 Posted on March 22, 2022 in Criminal Law

Wisconsin shoplifting attorneyWhen someone is arrested for switching price tags in a retail store, it is usually a young adult who thinks little of the action and may even be doing it as a dare or a joke with friends. This behavior, however, constitutes criminal retail theft and has serious consequences. Whether you are the parent of a teen accused of this behavior or have been accused of it yourself, it is important to take the charges seriously and to have an experienced Wisconsin criminal defense attorney representing you. 

How Serious Are the Charges for Price Tag Switching? 

While someone who switched price tags may have paid for, or tried to pay for, the merchandise and therefore may believe they did not really steal it, price tag switching is seen as a form of retail theft. Someone who hides some merchandise inside of other merchandise which they pay for, puts merchandise in their pockets, or wears merchandise like clothing under their own clothing to conceal it, has also committed an act of retail theft. 

Wisconsin’s theft offenses are categorized according to the value of the property that was stolen, although the type of property can also affect the charges. If the amount of merchandise was less than $2,500, the charges usually will not exceed a Class A misdemeanor. But the consequences even for a Class A misdemeanor are severe, including up to $10,000 in fines and up to nine months in jail. These charges can be increased to Class I felony charges if the person who tried to switch price tags or otherwise steal merchandise was working with other people. 

If the value of the merchandise is more than $2,500, the punishments for conviction escalate as the value of the merchandise increases. Punishments range from Class I felony theft to Class F felony theft, for which the most severe punishments include fines up to $25,000 and between six months and 12 years in prison. 

When someone has a prior criminal history, especially of petty theft, the consequences for another conviction of petty theft can be even more severe. This is why it is essential to secure a competent criminal defense attorney. A successful conviction now can result in a criminal record that may impact any future charges. 

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Waukesha Criminal Defense Lawyer

At Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, we believe in defending our clients’ constitutional rights, no matter what the charges against them may be. Our Waukesha County criminal defense attorneys have an established track record of getting many of our clients’ charges reduced or dropped, and we will work passionately on your behalf to build a strong defense. Call us today at 262-232-6699 to schedule your free consultation. 



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