– from Donald E. in Farmington, WI
I stole a GPS unit from a department store a few years back, and now my ex-girlfriend is threatening to turn me in for it. Could I actually be prosecuted for this?
Criminal Defense Attorney Response:
Retail theft is a serious crime in Wisconsin. Whether you can be still be arrested for the incident depends on when the item was stolen and how much it was worth.
Stealing an item valued at $500 or less is a misdemeanor crime. Stealing an item worth more than $500 is a felony. Obviously, the penalties for committing a felony are potentially greater. But the difference also affects the statute of limitations.
What is the statute of limitations for shoplifting in Wisconsin?
In Wisconsin, the statute of limitations on retail theft is generally three years for misdemeanors and six years for felonies. Therefore, if you stole an item worth less than $500 more than three years ago, you can no longer be prosecuted. If the item was worth more than $500, you could be facing serious consequences.
Give us a call or complete the form. We can help you sort through this situation. “
Jeff Hughes, J.D.