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Bucher Law Group, LLC

What Are the Penalties for Retail Theft in Wisconsin?

 Posted on November 16, 2021 in Criminal Defense

Ozaukee County Shoplifting Defense LawyerAs the holiday shopping season becomes busier and busier, many store owners become concerned about the losses they may suffer because of shoplifting. Because of this, retailers and police officers are likely to take strong action against anyone who is accused of committing retail theft. Those who may be facing these types of accusations will want to be sure to understand the nature of these crimes and the potential penalties they may face if they are convicted on criminal charges.

Wisconsin Retail Theft Laws

Retail theft may involve many different types of activities. While shoplifting is generally thought of as pocketing merchandise and taking it out of a store without paying for it, a person may also face criminal charges if they conceal items from a store’s owner or transfer items to someone else with the intent of stealing them. Retail theft charges will also apply if a person changes a price tag or alters the price of an item, such as by scanning the barcode of a different item at a self-checkout. A person may also be charged with retail theft if they remove a theft-detection sensor from merchandise or use a device that is meant to remove these sensors or shield them from scanners.

As with other types of theft charges, the severity of the consequences a person may face will depend on the values of the items that were allegedly stolen. For merchandise valued at $500 or less, Class A misdemeanor charges will apply, and a person may be fined up to $10,000 and sentenced to up to nine months in prison. For retail theft of between $500 and $5,000, or in cases where more than one person worked together to steal items worth less than $500 and sell them online, a person may be charged with a Class I felony, and they may be sentenced to up to three years and six months in jail, as well as a maximum $10,000 fine. Theft of merchandise worth $5,000 to $10,000 will result in Class H felony charges, which can lead to a prison sentence of up to six years and a fine of up to $10,000. Retail theft involving items worth more than $10,000 is a Class G felony, which can lead to a maximum $25,000 fine and up to 10 years in jail.

In addition to criminal charges, a retailer may pursue a civil lawsuit against a person who committed retail theft. They may attempt to recover the full value of the merchandise that was allegedly stolen, as well as any other losses they have experienced because of the theft. A store owner may also ask to be awarded additional exemplary damages, although the amount of these damages and attorney’s fees cannot be more than $500 for each violation.

Contact Our Waukesha County Retail Theft Defense Lawyers

If you have been accused of committing retail theft, you can protect your rights by securing representation from an experienced lawyer. Bucher Law Group, LLC can help you determine the best way to proceed with your case, and we will work to help you avoid a conviction when possible or minimize the consequences you may face. Contact our Walworth County criminal defense attorneys at 262-303-4916 to arrange a free consultation. 





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