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Shoplifting Can Lead to Criminal Felony Charges

 Posted on January 15, 2024 in Criminal Defense

Waukesha County criminal defense lawyerMost people probably think of petty theft when shoplifting involves something like stealing a shirt from a mall outlet or a pack of gum from a convenience store. The truth of the matter is, depending on the value of what is lifted, you could face serious penalties, including up to a decade in prison. To further understand the laws surrounding shoplifting, you will want an experienced lawyer to guide you through them.

How Wisconsin Defines Theft

Types of theft can vary widely in Wisconsin. There is shoplifting, identity theft, and theft by fraud, to name a few. As far as the Wisconsin Statutes go, what constitutes theft is the taking, removing, using, hiding, or keeping another person's property without their consent with the intent to own that property permanently.

What It Takes To Be Criminally Charged For Shoplifting

Anything stolen that is less than $100 in total is not considered a criminal offense. More often than not, the police will treat it as a minor infraction and let you off with a fine. However, being arrested for stealing anything worth more than $100 will likely have a criminal charge attached. Typically, the higher the property's value, the steeper the penalties.

The Penalties For Shoplifting

Shoplifting penalties range anywhere from a petty offense to a Class G felony. Again, what you are charged with will depend on the value of the stolen property. A rundown on the charge and subsequent penalties are as follows:

  • Class A Misdemeanor - The range of value extends from $100 to $2,500 and can carry up to $10,000 in fines and up to nine months in prison.
  • Class I Felony - The range of value extends from $2,500 to $5,000 and can carry a similar fine as a Class A misdemeanor as well as up to three and a half years in prison.
  • Class H Felony - The range of value extends from $5,000 to $10,000 and carries the same $10,000 fine as the previous charges but with the possibility of six years in prison.
  • Class G Felony - The range of value exceeds $10,000 in stolen property and carries up to 10 years in prison along with a fine of up to $25,000.

Contact a Waukesha County, WI Criminal Defense Attorney

The firm of Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP has extensive experience defending those accused of shoplifting. We understand that a crime like this could significantly damage your permanent record. As such, having a skilled Waukesha, WI, shoplifting charges defense lawyer who knows the ropes is important. For a free consultation to review your case, call the office at 262-232-6699 today.

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