Retail Theft Charge in Wisconsin

Madison, WI

(608) 204-5807

Madison, WI Retail Theft Attorneys

Understanding the Seriousness of Retail Theft Charges in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, theft from a merchant, commonly referred to as shoplifting, is classified under property crimes as outlined in Wis. Stat. § 943.50. While shoplifting might appear to be a less severe offense compared to other forms of theft, the legal threshold for escalating these charges to a felony level is notably lower when it involves retail theft. Specifically, while general theft charges may escalate to a felony for stolen items valued over $2,500, retail theft reaches felony status at a significantly lower value—items worth $500 or more. This distinction underscores the seriousness with which Wisconsin law treats retail theft, highlighting the potential for substantial legal consequences even for what might initially seem like minor infractions.

Retail Theft Charge in Wisconsin

Legal Defense for Retail Theft in Madison, WI

Facing shoplifting charges in Wisconsin requires knowledgeable legal representation to navigate the complexities of retail theft laws. Our team of Madison, WI retail theft attorneys is equipped to offer you the defense you need, aiming to fight your charges and minimize potential penalties. With an in-depth understanding of the law and available defenses, we’re here to support you through this challenging time. Reach out to us for a complimentary case evaluation and take the first step toward securing your legal defense.

Property Crime Attorneys in Southern Wisconsin

What the State must Prove to Convict on a Retail Theft Charge

Shoplifting in Wisconsin is not just sticking merchandise in your pocket and leaving the store. It also includes altering or swapping the price tag to change the price of an item. The state must prove six elements beyond a reasonable doubt before a jury can convict. Those elements are as follows:

  1. The defendant intentionally did any of the following: altered the indicated price, altered the value of, took and carried away, transferred, concealed, or retained possession of merchandise.
  2. The merchandise was held for resale by a merchant.
  3. The defendant knew that the property involved was merchandise held out for resale by a merchant.
  4. The merchant did not consent.
  5. The defendant knew that the merchant did not consent.
  6. The defendant intended to deprive the merchant permanently of possession or any portion of the purchase price of the merchandise.

Misdemeanor Retail Theft Charge

Shop lifting is a misdemeanor if the value of the merchandise does not exceed $500. There is no minimum amount or value to make it a misdemeanor. More times than not, a minimal value item will likely be charged as a forfeiture. However, any amount can be charged criminally. A misdemeanor retail theft charge is a Class A misdemeanor.

Felony Retail Theft Charges

A Wisconsin retail theft charge can be classified as a felony depending on the amount of the item or items taken or value lost on the merchandise. If the value of the merchandise is over $500 but less than $5,000 the retail theft charge is a Class I felony. It is a Class H felony if the value exceeds $5,000 but is less than $10,000. Finally, if the value of the merchandise exceeds $10,000 it is a Class G felony.

Defending Against Shoplifting Charges in Wisconsin with DK Anderson, S.C.

Facing shoplifting charges in Wisconsin, whether misdemeanor or felony, demands experienced legal representation. At DK Anderson, S.C., our attorneys are well-versed in defending against shoplifting offenses, leveraging a deep understanding of Wisconsin’s property crime laws and court procedures. Trust in our team to provide the aggressive defense needed to challenge your charges effectively. Let us take on the fight on your behalf and work towards the best possible outcome for your case.

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