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Defense Options To Theft Charges In Wisconsin

What Are Your Defense Options When Facing Theft Charges in Wisconsin?

Theft charges and convictions for theft vary widely in their severity in Wisconsin, but even the least serious charge, a Class A misdemeanor, can lead to as much as $10,000 in fines and up to 9 months in jail. That is anything but simple or insignificant if you are convicted. Fortunately, there are several defense options that can be used to fight theft charges.

Defining Theft in Wisconsin

In order for an action to be considered theft in Wisconsin, the action must be:

  • intentional,
  • undertaken without the consent of the owner of the property, and
  • with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of possession of the property.

Convictions for theft range from the Class A misdemeanor fines and penalties mentioned above to Classes I, H, G, or F felony charges that include as much as $25,000 in fines and/or 12.5 years in prison. There is no question that a conviction for theft will change your life for the worse which is why it is so important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney whenever you are facing theft charges.

Defense Options for Theft Charges

The criminal defense attorneys at Eisenberg Law Offices will examine your situation from all sides to build the strongest, most effective defense possible. Six of the most common theft defense strategies are outlined below.

  1. Ownership Claims. Defendants who use this strategy believe that the stolen property belonged to them. In order to succeed using this defense, you must be able to prove that you owned the property at the time of the alleged theft.
  2. Intoxication or Impairment. If you were under the influence at the time of the theft, there is a good chance that you lacked intent in your actions. Proving intent is necessary to win a theft case.
  3. Lack of Intent. Intent must exist in theft cases. If the prosecution cannot prove that you intended to permanently take the property without the owner’s consent, you may be able to get your case dismissed.
  4. Entrapment. This defense is most often used in cases that involved police sting operations. If you were coerced or lured into committing the theft by an officer of the law or other government official, you may be able to use this defense.
  5. False Allegations. Defendants can be falsely accused. Sometimes these accusations are an honest mistake; other times they are made out of spite or in revenge. If it can be proven that the accusations were false, you can avoid a conviction.
  6. Flawed Valuation. If the stolen property was incorrectly valued higher than it is in reality, you may be able to get your charges reduced to a lesser crime since theft charges are based on the dollar value of the property that has been stolen.

Fight Theft Charges With Help From Eisenberg Law Offices

Don’t let a conviction for theft ruin your life. Contact the criminal defense attorneys at Eisenberg Law Offices for advice on theft defense and to discuss your legal options. We offer free and confidential case consultations. Arrange yours by calling our Madison law firm at 608-256-8356 or emailing