Theft & Other Property Crimes
Wisconsin criminalizes several acts against property. Some of these crimes are considered serious felonies and can result in many years behind bars if convicted of them.
The potential penalty is usually based on the value of the property that is stolen and the circumstances surrounding the theft. If you are facing charges for a property offense, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer for assistance. To schedule a confidential consultation, call Hogan Eickhoff in Appleton at (920) 450-9800.FREE CONSULTATION
Theft vs. Fraud
Many acts of theft involve some type of fraud, which is defined as knowingly concealing a fact or misrepresenting the truth, inducing another person into acting in a way against his or her own interest. Crimes based on fraud are usually non-violent in nature.
Theft involves intentionally taking someone else’s property, using the property, or keeping possession of another individual’s property without the owner’s consent, coupled with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property. Theft may or may not involve fraud, depending on the circumstances.
Fraud crimes can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor offense, depending on the value of the property. Often, the victim asks for restitution from the wrongdoer, which is awarded at the time of sentencing unless the defendant asks for a restitution hearing.
Retail theft is shoplifting or taking property belonging to a store out of the store without paying for it. Removing anti-theft devices or using a device to try to block these devices is also considered retail theft. The potential penalty depends on the value of the merchandise, based on the following parameters:
- Property valued at less than $500 – A Class A misdemeanor
- Property valued under $5,000 – A Class I felony
- Property valued under $10,000 – A Class H felony
- Property valued over $10,000 – A Class G felony
Identity theft occurs when you use someone else’s personal identification document or information to get something of value. Personal identifying information includes obviously confidential things like your Social Security number or information like your name, address, phone number, employer, maiden name, or date of birth. If you commit identity theft, you could be charged with a Class H felony.FREE CONSULTATION
Receiving Stolen Property
Knowingly receiving or hiding property that is stolen is considered a misdemeanor when the property is worth less than $2,500. This offense can be charged as a Class G through I felony, depending on the property value involved.
Forgery involves making or altering a writing with the intent to defraud the person accepting the writing, like a check. This crime is usually charged as a Class H felony unless there are more serious circumstances that enhance the penalty.
Uttering involves using a document that has been forged while knowing it was forged. This crime is also a Class H felony.
Arson of buildings can result in a Class C felony if you intentionally damage a building owned by someone else without their consent. A Class I felony is charged when you burn someone else’s property that is not a building and has a value greater than $100. You can be charged with a Class H felony if you burn property with the intent to defraud the insurance company that covers that property.
If you enter another person’s property without permission, you can be charged with the crime of trespass. The penalty you face depends on the type of structure you enter and whether you were armed at the time of entering.
Criminal Damage to Property
It is illegal to intentionally damage someone else’s personal property without the owner’s consent. Individuals who commit this offense can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.
Trusted Property Crime Defense Lawyers
Contact Hogan Eickhoff today by calling (920) 450-9800, or request a consultation. Our firm is located in Appleton, and serves the state of Wisconsin including Green Bay, Oshkosh, Chilton, Waupaca, and beyond. In addition to representing clients accused of fraud, identity theft, and other property crimes, we have experience with cases involving felonies, misdemeanors, sex offenses, domestic violence, drug offenses, and violent crimes.