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:

  1. You intentionally entered a building or dwelling.
  2. You entered that building or dwelling without consent of the person who is in possession of the building or dwelling.
  3. You knew that the entry was without consent.
  4. 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.

Wisconsin Burglary Charge Attorneys
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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.

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