If you're looking for a Wisconsin online theft or shoplifting class, it's important to know your Wisconsin theft laws. This can help you understand more about your offense.

Please note that the Wisconsin theft and shoplifting laws shown on this page are to aid you in understanding your state Wisconsin theft, shoplifting and stealing laws. While we have made every attempt to show the most up-to-date version of Wisconsin theft laws, we do not guarantee its accuracy. This page is not a substitute for legal advice from a lawyer. We suggest that you find an appropriate attorney for more information about Wisconsin theft laws.

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Wisconsin Theft Laws

943.20 Theft.

943.20(1)

(1) Acts. Whoever does any of the following may be penalized as provided in sub. (3):

943.20(1)(a)

(a) 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.

943.20(1)(b)

(b) By virtue of his or her office, business or employment, or as trustee or bailee, having possession or custody of money or of a negotiable security, instrument, paper or other negotiable writing of another, intentionally uses, transfers, conceals, or retains possession of such money, security, instrument, paper or writing without the owner's consent, contrary to his or her authority, and with intent to convert to his or her own use or to the use of any other person except the owner. A refusal to deliver any money or a negotiable security, instrument, paper or other negotiable writing, which is in his or her possession or custody by virtue of his or her office, business or employment, or as trustee or bailee, upon demand of the person entitled to receive it, or as required by law, is prima facie evidence of an intent to convert to his or her own use within the meaning of this paragraph.

943.20(1)(c)

(c) Having a legal interest in movable property, intentionally and without consent, takes such property out of the possession of a pledgee or other person having a superior right of possession, with intent thereby to deprive the pledgee or other person permanently of the possession of such property.

943.20(1)(d)

(d) Obtains title to property of another person by intentionally deceiving the person with a false representation which is known to be false, made with intent to defraud, and which does defraud the person to whom it is made. "False representation" includes a promise made with intent not to perform it if it is a part of a false and fraudulent scheme.

943.20(1)(e)

(e) Intentionally fails to return any personal property which is in his or her possession or under his or her control by virtue of a written lease or written rental agreement after the lease or rental agreement has expired. This paragraph does not apply to a person who returns personal property, except a motor vehicle, which is in his or her possession or under his or her control by virtue of a written lease or written rental agreement, within 10 days after the lease or rental agreement expires.

943.20(2)

(2) Definitions. In this section:

943.20(2)(ac)

(ac) "Adult at risk" has the meaning given in s. 55.01 (1e).

943.20(2)(ad)

(ad) "Elder adult at risk" has the meaning given in s. 46.90 (1) (br).

943.20(2)(ae)

(ae) "Individual at risk" means an elder adult at risk or an adult at risk.

943.20(2)(ag)

(ag) "Movable property" is property whose physical location can be changed, without limitation including electricity and gas, documents which represent or embody intangible rights, and things growing on, affixed to or found in land.

943.20(2)(am)

(am) "Patient" has the meaning given in s. 940.295 (1) (L).

943.20(2)(b)

(b) "Property" means all forms of tangible property, whether real or personal, without limitation including electricity, gas and documents which represent or embody a chose in action or other intangible rights.

943.20(2)(c)

(c) "Property of another" includes property in which the actor is a co-owner and property of a partnership of which the actor is a member, unless the actor and the victim are husband and wife.

943.20(2)(cm)

(cm) "Resident" has the meaning given in s. 940.295 (1) (p).

943.20(2)(d)

(d) Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, "value" means the market value at the time of the theft or the cost to the victim of replacing the property within a reasonable time after the theft, whichever is less. If the property stolen is a document evidencing a chose in action or other intangible right, "value" means either the market value of the chose in action or other right or the intrinsic value of the document, whichever is greater. If the property stolen is scrap metal, as defined in s. 134.405 (1) (f), "value" also includes any costs that would be incurred in repairing or replacing any property damaged in the theft or removal of the scrap metal. If the thief gave consideration for, or had a legal interest in, the stolen property, the amount of such consideration or value of such interest shall be deducted from the total value of the property.

943.20(3)

(3) Penalties. Whoever violates sub. (1):

943.20(3)(a)

(a) If the value of the property does not exceed $2,500, is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

943.20(3)(bf)

(bf) If the value of the property exceeds $2,500 but does not exceed $5,000, is guilty of a Class I felony.

943.20(3)(bm)

(bm) If the value of the property exceeds $5,000 but does not exceed $10,000, is guilty of a Class H felony.

943.20(3)(c)

(c) If the value of the property exceeds $10,000, is guilty of a Class G felony.

943.20(3)(d)

(d) If any of the following circumstances exists, is guilty of a Class H felony:

943.20(3)(d)1.

  1. The property is a domestic animal.

943.20(3)(d)3.

  1. The property is taken from a building which has been destroyed or left unoccupied because of physical disaster, riot, bombing or the proximity of battle.

943.20(3)(d)4.

  1. The property is taken after physical disaster, riot, bombing or the proximity of battle has necessitated its removal from a building.

943.20(3)(d)5.

  1. The property is a firearm.

943.20(3)(d)6.

  1. The property is taken from a patient or resident of a facility or program under s. 940.295 (2) or from an individual at risk.

943.20(3)(e)

(e) If the property is taken from the person of another or from a corpse, is guilty of a Class G felony.

943.20(4)

(4) Use of photographs as evidence. In any action or proceeding for a violation of sub. (1), a party may use duly identified and authenticated photographs of property which was the subject of the violation in lieu of producing the property.

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