Free Consultation 414-446-3544
Free Consultation 414-446-3544

Defense Attorney for Burglary & Theft in Milwaukee

Get the legal help you need when you’re facing charges for a crime you didn’t commit

The laws surrounding theft & burglary can be confusing to navigate on your own. There are different penalties for countless different types of theft. If you’ve been charge with a crime you don’t completely understand, you need a lawyer to work with you side-by-side to help you understand the legal process.

That’s where Sydne French comes in. Attorney French offers a free legal defense consultation to get to know your case well enough to defend your freedom.

Examples of theft

  • Petty theft: When less than $50 worth of goods was stolen. Often charged as a misdemeanor.
  • Grand theft: Acts of theft valued at more than $400. Can be a misdemeanor or felony depending on the defendant’s prior record.

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What are the different types of theft?

It’s important to be able to distinguish exactly what legal infraction a defendant is fighting. A lot of people interchange the terms theft, robbery & burglary, but they are not the same.

Theft is the broad category under which the other offenses fall. It is the taking of property from another person, whether there is physical contact or not. It can be charged as an infraction, misdemeanor or a felony & the severity of the penalty varies greatly from case to case.

Under the Wisconsin Theft Statute, a person is guilty of a theft when they intentionally and knowingly take and carry away the property of another, without consent and with the intent to permanently deprive the rightful owner of that property. Intent is a big part of a theft crime. In order to prove theft, the prosecutor must show that the person intended to take and carry away the property. Taking someone's things by mistake, such as a similar-looking coat or cell phone at the diner, is not theft. 

The act of carrying away property need not involve removing the property from the premises. Under the Wisconsin theft laws, the crime of theft can occur even if the property taken does not leave the building, as long as the person taking the property intended to carry it away from its owner.

Wisconsin law provides that not only must it have been the thief's intent and purpose to take the property, but he also must have intended that the owner of the property never get that property back.

Wisconsin Theft Penalties

$2,500 property value

9 months in jail & a $10,000 fine (misdemeanor)

From $2,500 to $5,000

3 years and 6 months in prison and a $10,000 fine (Felony)

From $5,000 to $10,000

6 years in prison and a fine of $10,000

Greater than $10,000

10 years prison and a $25,000 fine


Robbery in Wisconsin

Robbery is the taking of property from someone by force or the threat of force, whether verbal or implied.

The crime of Robbery in Wisconsin is, basically, theft by the use of force. A theft is the taking and carrying away of the property of another with the intent to permanently deprive the rightful owner of that property. Force is any action that either prevents the property owner (or anyone else) from preventing the theft; it is also any action that threatens to cause such prevention. The type of force used or threatened determines the classification or degree of the crime and the penalties associated with it.

Examples of robbery

  • Armed robbery: When a person robs someone with a firearm
  • Aggravated robbery: When someone has a deadly weapon on their person during the robbery
  • Mugging: A robbery that takes place outside or in public, such as the street, a park, etc.

Wisconsin Robbery Penalties

Class E felony: unless a dangerous weapon was used during the robbery, in which case it is a Class C felony. Obviously, a gun is considered a dangerous weapon; however, a dangerous weapon can also include any other device that is capable of causing bodily injury or death.

Class C felony: includes penalties of up to 40 years imprisonment, or $100,000 fine, or both. If a convicted defendant is classified as a repeat offender, the court can order up to 2 additional years imprisonment if the prior convictions were misdemeanors and up to six additional years imprisonment if the priors were felonies.

Class D Felony: includes penalties of up to 15 years imprisonment, or a $50,000 fine, or both. Repeat offender classification increases the imprisonment terms up to 2 years with prior misdemeanor convictions and up to six years with prior felony convictions.

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Burglary in Wisconsin

Burglary is when a person forcibly enters a building or home without consent with the intent to steal property or commit another felony. It’s important to note that a burglary can happen when the property owner is not present. A robbery can only happen when a person to be on the premises.

A Wisconsin burglary charge is a Class F felony.  The maximum penalty for a Wisconsin Class F felony is 12 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

In addition, whoever violates the burglary statute under the following conditions is guilty of a Class E felony:

  • The person is armed with a dangerous weapon or device
  • The person is unarmed, but arms himself with a dangerous weapon or device while in the burglarized enclosure
  • The person opens or attempts to open any depository using an explosive device while in the burglarized enclosure
  • The person commits a battery upon a person lawfully in the burglarized enclosure
  • The burglarized enclosure is a dwelling, boat, or motor home and another person is lawfully present at the time of the violation

The maximum penalty for a Wisconsin Class E felony is 15 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Examples of burglary

  • Armed burglary: When a burglar enters a property while armed with a dangerous weapon
  • Felony burglary: When someone enters a property with the intent to commit a felony

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