Theft (Shoplifting)

Wisconsin theft or shoplifting offenses range from simple tickets, misdemeanor offenses to serious felonies. It is difficult for most people to understand what they are facing, and if they are at risk of serious penalties.

Charged with a crime in Wisconsin? Please call (888) 828-6041.


If you have been given a ticket for under $100, it is not a crime. If it is a ticket for over $100, it could be a crime, if you have a prior retail theft on your record. A formal misdemeanor or felony charge is a crime. And any actual criminal charge, and conviction if you are found guilty, can have a significant impact on your life. You can be stuck with a permanent criminal record that can follow you for many years.

Do I need to hire an attorney?

If you have been given a ticket for an ordinance violation such as retail theft, please keep in mind that the fine stated on the ticket is substantially less than what a lawyer’s fee is to represent you.

On the other hand, if you believe the ticket was unfairly issued because you did not do anything wrong OR even if it was correctly issued, you want to possibly avoid being convicted of the ticket, then it may make sense for you to hire an attorney to represent you even though the legal fee for your lawyer’s services is greater than the amount of the fine stated on the ticket itself.

For these reasons, if you are interested in hiring an attorney to represent you on the ticket then please call me directly so that we can move forward in either challenging your case or attempting to negotiate a more favorable outcome with the prosecutor in an effort to reduce or perhaps dismiss that ticket that you are currently facing.

What if I am facing a serious criminal theft charge?

If you are at risk of a criminal conviction on your record, the situations is different.

But I can help you try to fix whatever legal mess you are facing. And you may be surprised about the kind of shoplifting or theft charges that can be successfully  beaten in court, with a dismissal, or a not guilty, or at least a significant reduction in charges and penalties.

It you are being charged unfairly with theft in Wisconsin, it can be infuriating to have to defend your good name in court. But you are innocent until proven guilty, and we will challenge the prosecution at every step of the alleged evidence trail.

Or if you feel you made a big mistake, I can help with that, too. Whether you accidentally forgot to pay for something or made a bad decision impulsively, and now regret your actions. I won’t judge you, but will simply help you to get the best possible outcome in court. I want that positive result as much as you do and will work my hardest to make sure that happens.

I know you probably never thought you would be facing a judge in the Wisconsin criminal courts. This can be a stressful and uncertain time in your life.

Please contact me to find out what I can offer you in terms of help, and hope.

Wisconsin Theft Laws

Theft can be committed in a variety of ways. The alleged theft you are charged with could include any of the following situations:

  • Intentionally taking, carrying away, using, transferring, concealing or retaining possession of the property of another without their consent and with the intent to deprive the owner permanently of possession of the property,
  • Obtaining title to property of another person through deceit or false representation with the intent to defraud,
  • Using, transferring, concealing, or retaining possession of money, security, paper or writing through your employment or business and without the owner’s consent and contrary to your authority, or
  • Intentionally failing to return any personal property in your possession or under your control after the applicable lease or rental agreement has expired.

Wisconsin Theft Penalties

Your shoplifting/theft charge and the subsequent penalty depends on the value of the property allegedly stolen.

Theft Value: Charge: Theft Penalty:
Under $100 Ticket Simple fine, not criminal charge
Under $2,500 Class A misdemeanor Up to 9 months in jail and fines of $10,000
$2,500 to $5,000 Class I felony Up to 3 ½ years in prison and fines of $10,000
$5,000 to $10,000 Class H felony Up to 6 years in prison and fines of $10,000
More than $10,000 Class G felony Up to 10 years in prison and fines of $25,000

Ref: Wisconsin Statute 943.20

Call For a Legal Defense Consultation on Wisconsin Shoplifting/Theft Charges

Having handled many serious theft cases, I have the experience you need. I’ll be able to size up the seriousness of your case and what you are facing in a short phone call or meeting.

We can examine the details of your case together and I will help you come up with the best way to move forward. Call me today so we can discuss your theft case in greater detail.

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