What Misdemeanor Theft Means in Wisconsin and What to Expect
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According to Wisconsin statute 943.20(3), misdemeanor theft is a class A misdemeaor. The penalties in Wisconsin for a class A misdemeanor are: a fine up to $10,000, 9 months in prison, or a combination of both..
Theft is classified as a misdemeanor when the property stolen is worth an amount less than $2,500.
To find a defendant guilty of violating this statute, the district attorney would have to prove four elements:
- The defendant intentionally took and carried away movable property of another
- The owner of the property did not consent to taking and carrying away the property
- The defendant knew that the owner did not consent
- The defendant intended to deprive the owner permanently of the possession of the property
Our criminal defense attorneys have negotiated multiple felonies down to misdemeanors, non-criminal tickets and outright dismissal of charges. Through negotiation or jury trial our Wisconsin criminal defense attorneys faithfully represent your interests to the fullest under criminal law. Grieve Law LLC has firearm, criminal defense, drug and DUI attorneys in Waukesha, Madison and Milwaukee.
Initial Appearance, Further Proceedings, and Your 2 Choices
The stages you can expect throughout the pendency of the case include your initial appearance, where your bail is decided, and a scheduling/status/further proceedings conference. The purpose of this conference is to let the court know how you plan to proceed with the case, whether it be taking it to trial or settling with a plea agreement. At this point what you can expect will diverge.
Option 1: Go to Jury Trial
If you decide to take your case to trial, you will first have a jury status date to:
- File a witness list
- File motion in limine
- Give parameters or rules for the attorneys to follow during trial
- Give jury instructions if needed
Your jury status date will be followed quickly by your jury trial date. Depending on the court’s schedule, it is possible your case will not take place on that date. Typically this is because other trials are set for the same day and time, and for a number of reasons another case may take precedence over yours. Your attorney will advise you regarding your decision to go to trial, but ultimately it is up to you.
2. Settle with a Plea Agreement
If you choose not to take your case to trial you will likely proceed by accepting an offer given by the district attorney. In a case involving misdemeanor theft, restitution is likely going to play some sort of role in the offer.
Once you enter a plea your case will proceed to the sentencing stage of the case. During sentencing the district attorney and your attorney will present arguments to the Judge in regards to how you should be sentenced following a conviction.
It is your attorney’s job to balance all of these factors in order to secure the best possible outcome.
If you have been charged with Misdemeanor Theft, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney with a proven track record of success in handling criminal defense cases. There are important nuances in Misdemeanor Theft cases that can make or break your case, and you need a skilled advocate to navigate them properly. Schedule a free case assessment with Grieve Law to find out your best option.