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Theft Crimes Milwaukee



In Wisconsin, crimes having to do with theft or property damage such as burglary, fraud, or arson, can include everything from stealing a TV set to burning down a large building.

Many of these charges, and the severity of their corresponding penalties, are determined by the total value of any goods that were stolen, and whether the accused person was armed during the commission of the crime. The experienced Milwaukee burglary defense attorneys at Birdsall Obear & Associates have handled a multitude of cases of all different types of theft and property crimes.

If you’ve been arrested, you need the best criminal lawyers in Milwaukee and Sheboygan. Please contact our Milwaukee criminal lawyers via phone or email for a free consultation so we can help you navigate the broad range of charges pertaining to theft and property crimes.


Wisconsin statutes 943.20 (1)(a) states:

Whoever intentionally takes and carries away, uses, transfers, conceals, or retains possession of movable property of another without the other's consent and with intent to deprive the owner permanently of possession of such property.


The State must prove 4 elements:

  1. That you intentionally took and carried away movable property of another (The term “intentionally” means that you must have had the “mental purpose” to take and carry away property)
  2. That owner of the property did not consent to taking and carrying away the property
  3. That you knew that the owner did not consent
  4. That you intended to deprive the owner permanently of the possession of the property

Often a defense to this charge is that the accused did not mean to “take and carry away” the item. This is raised quite often in shoplifting situations where the item is in a shopping bag and the person claims that they intended to pay for it but forgot. Another common defense is that a person intended to borrow the item and, therefore, did not intend to “permanently deprive” the owner of the property.

Prosecutors have the discretion to add up the value of all goods and charge the maximum available felony or break up the items to charge several misdemeanors. A charge of theft can have drastic consequences for your future employment or licensing goals. Often employers look very dimly upon those with convictions for offenses involving “crimes of moral turpitude.” Companies and public employers alike either have policies excluding felons or just generally do not trust those with a history of stealing. This is particularly true if the crime was of multiple violations or of a protracted nature. Certain state and federal licenses, such as license to practice law or be a securities broker, may not be available or more difficult to obtain with a conviction for theft, whether misdemeanor or felony.

Wisconsin penalties for Theft:
Under $2,500: 9 months maximum (misdemeanor)
$2,500 to $5,000: 18 months (felony)
$5,000 to $10,000: 3 years (felony)
$10,000 or greater: 5 years
Theft is a 5 year felony if the item taken is an animal, obtained by looting, is a firearm, or is taken from an elderly or mentally disable “vulnerable” person, regardless of the item’s value

Contact the best Milwaukee and Sheboygan theft of property and fraud defense lawyers.

Call Birdsall Obear & Associates.

Attorneys John A. Birdsall and Kirk B. Obear are Milwaukee criminal attorneys who have won countless cases over the past decades. Their aggressive defense strategy is unsurpassed and has placed them among the best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Milwaukee.

Property theft crimes many times carry special circumstances that only the Milwaukee criminal lawyers of Birdsall Obear & Associates will know how to confront, confidently and efficiently... and win your case.

Our fraud defense lawyers in Sheboygan and Milwaukee know how to confront and challenge illegal police action, whether it's improper search technique or other violations, if we find that your constitutional rights were violated, your case could be dismissed.

Our lawyers are simply the best theft and fraud crimes defense law firm Wisconsin has to offer. Contact our Milwaukee Criminal Attorneys at Birdsall Obear & Associates.

Theft of Property

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Milwaukee and Sheboygan Federal Crimes Defense Attorneys in Wisconsin
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Birdsall Obear & Associates

1219 N. Cass Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Birdsall Obear & Associates
603 South 8th Street

Sheboygan, WI 53081

Milwaukee Office
1219 North Cass Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Directions to Birdsall Obear & Associates Milwaukee office

Sheboygan Office
603 South 8th Street, Sheboygan, WI 53081

Directions to Birdsall Obear & Associates Sheboygan office