Burglary in Wisconsin is a felony charge. It is considered a property crime as it directly affect the property of others. Burglary is also considered a violent crime. The courts and prosecutors take this type of charge very seriously. They take it seriously because a burglary can often be a traumatic event for a victim. It is a good thing that we take it seriously as well. If you are looking for a criminal lawyer to fight your burglary charge we can help. Contact us today to start your defense.
What must the state prove to convict someone of Burglary
In order to be convicted of burglary in Wisconsin, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following elements:
- You intentionally entered a building or dwelling.
- You entered that building or dwelling without consent of the person who is in possession of the building or dwelling.
- You knew that the entry was without consent.
- You entered with the intent to steal.
With "intent to steal" means that you have the mental purpose to take and carry away the property without the consent of the individual who owns it and you knew the person did not consent to the taking of the property. An essential part of a burglary charge in Wisconsin is that you have to have had the intent to steal prior to entering the building or dwelling. This intent can be formed at any time before entry.
Serious penalties for a burglary conviction
If you have been charged under Wis. Stat. § 943.10 for burglary you face serious penalties. A burglary charge in Wisconsin carries a 12 1/2 year imprisonment as well as a fine of up to $25,000 or both. If the burglary was committed while armed, the penalty goes up to 15 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $50,000 or both.
Burglary is not just breaking into a house...
You can be charged with burglary for entering into any of the following below.
- Any building or dwelling; or
- An enclosed railroad car; or
- An enclosed portion of any ship or vessel; or
- A locked enclosed cargo portion of a truck or trailer; or
- A motor home or other motorized type of home or a trailer home, whether or not any person is living in any such home; or
- A room within any of the above.
Possession of burglarious tools
Under Wisconsin Statute 943.12, possession of tools commonly used in burglaries is a felony. The statute reads as follows:
Whoever has in personal possession any device or instrumentality intended, designed or adapted for use in breaking into any depository designed for the safekeeping of any valuables or into any building or room, with intent to use such device or instrumentality to break into a depository, building or room, and to steal therefrom, is guilty of a Class I felony.
Circumstances that can result in higher penalties for a burglary conviction
Generally a burglary charge is a Class F felony. However, under certain circumstances it will be a Class E felony. Circumstances that increase the penalties are listed below.
- The person is armed with a dangerous weapon or a device or container described under s. 941.26 (4) (a).
- The person is unarmed, but arms himself with a dangerous weapon or a device or container described under s. 941.26 (4) (a) while still in the burglarized enclosure.
- While the person is in the burglarized enclosure, he or she opens, or attempts to open, any depository by use of an explosive.
- While the person is in the burglarized enclosure, he or she commits a battery upon a person lawfully therein.
- The burglarized enclosure is a dwelling, boat, or motor home and another person is lawfully present in the dwelling, boat, or motor home at the time of the violation.
Madison, WI Burglary Attorneys
Anderson & O'Connell, S.C. have significant experience defending against felony and misdemeanor charges. Our attorneys have proven results in criminal cases and can help you and your family. If you are facing a Burglary charge in Southern Wisconsin Anderson & O'Connell, S.C. are your criminal defense attorneys.
Burglary While Armed
Burglary while armed is a class E felony in Wisconsin. That means that if you are convicted you face a term of imprisonment of not more than 15 years. If you are facing a burglary while armed charge it is very important to retain the services of a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney. An experienced aggressive attorney will likely be able to obtain better results.
What is considered Burglary While Armed?
Under Wisconsin Statute § 943.10(2) to be convicted of burglary while armed the state must prove all the elements of a burglary charge as well as an additional element of "while armed with a dangerous weapon". "Armed" means that at the time of the entry, the weapon must have been either on the defendant's person or within the defendant's reach. Additionally, the defendant must have been aware of the weapon. The term weapon, or dangerous weapon means any firearm, whether loaded or unloaded; any device designed as a weapon and capable of producing death or great bodily harm; any electric weapon; or any other device or instrumentality which its intended purpose is likely to produce death or great bodily harm.
Does it make a difference if you arm yourself after entering a building?
No, it does not make a difference. The penalty for arming yourself with a dangerous weapon after entry and while in the building or dwelling is the same as if you were armed prior to entering. This is punishable by up to 15 years of imprisonment. All elements of burglary apply, and like burglary while armed, an addition element of arming oneself with a dangerous weapon while in the enclosure is required for a conviction.
Wisconsin Burglary Charge Attorneys
Being charged with a crime is a serious matter. Whether you are charged with burglary, burglary while armed, or possession of burglarious tools, it is important that you contact a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney as soon as you can. At Anderson & O'Connell, S.C. we are focused on providing the aggressive yet affordable defense to these charges. We have experience in litigating these types of charges and are committed to fighting for you.