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Bucher Law Group, LLC

When Can a Person Be Charged with Burglary in Wisconsin?

 Posted on December 28, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Jefferson County burglary defense lawyerBurglary is a serious crime that involves the unlawful entry into someone else's property with the intent to commit a theft or felony. In Wisconsin, burglary charges can carry severe penalties for those who are convicted of this offense. Understanding exactly what constitutes burglary and what defenses may be raised against these charges is crucial for anyone who has been arrested for this offense or other related crimes. An experienced attorney can provide representation for defendants facing burglary charges, and they can help determine the best defense strategy to avoid a conviction.

Elements of Burglary

To understand when a person can be charged with burglary in Wisconsin, it is essential to know the elements required for this crime:

  • Unlawful entry: The first element of burglary is an illegal entry into a building or dwelling or other property, including a boat, a motor home, a railroad car, or a locked cargo trailer. Prosecutors must prove that a defendant entered someone else's property without their consent or by using deception, force, or intimidation.
  • Intent to commit theft or felony: The second element requires proof that the defendant entered the premises intending to commit either theft (taking someone else's property) or another felony (such as arson or aggravated assault). Being present on someone else's property may constitute trespassing, but it will not be considered burglary unless the person intends to commit an applicable offense.

Felony Charges for Burglary

In Wisconsin, burglary may be charged as either a Class F or Class E felony, depending on the circumstances of the case. Entering someone's property with the intent to commit theft or a felony offense is a Class F felony, and a conviction may result in a prison sentence of up to 12.5 years and $25,000 in fines.

Burglary becomes a Class E felony, which carries a sentence of up to 15 years and up to $15,000 in fines, in the following situations:

  • The person charged with burglary was armed with a dangerous weapon, such as a firearm or knife.
  • The person used an explosive while committing burglary to open a safe or gain access to the property.
  • The person committed battery against someone else during a burglary.
  • Burglary was engaged in a home or other dwelling (including a motor home or boat) while another person was present.

Defenses Against Burglary Charges

If you have been charged with burglary in Wisconsin, exploring potential defenses that could help protect your rights and secure a favorable outcome is crucial. Some common defenses include:

  • Lack of intent: If it can be proven that you did not enter someone else's property with the intent to commit theft or another felony, it may weaken the prosecution's case.
  • Mistaken identity: Your attorney may be able to raise doubts about your identity as the person who allegedly committed burglary.
  • Consent: If you had permission from the owner or lawful occupant of the property to enter, this may serve as a valid defense against burglary charges. Entering a building or other property open to the public is considered to be entry with consent.

Contact Our Jefferson County, WI Burglary Defense Attorney

Burglary charges in Wisconsin can have severe consequences on your life. In addition to the potential consequences of a criminal conviction, a criminal record can lead to limited employment opportunities and difficulty finding housing or pursuing education. Therefore, seeking legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney with experience defending clients against burglary charges and other related offenses is crucial.

At Bucher Law Group, LLC, our Ozaukee County, WI burglary defense lawyer will thoroughly examine all available evidence, challenge any weak points in the prosecution's case, and work towards achieving the best possible outcome for you. We will ensure that every aspect of your case is evaluated adequately while providing effective representation through each stage of legal proceedings. To learn more about how we can help you defend against burglary charges, contact us at 262-303-4916 and set up a free consultation.




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