Shoplifting and employee theft costs U.S. retailers billions of dollars every year. In fact, according to leading loss prevention specialists, shrinkage, the retail-industry term encompassing losses due mostly to shoplifting, worker and vendor theft, is a growing problem. In 2014, retail shoplifting accounted for 38% of shrinkage, followed by employee theft at 34.5%.
Wisconsin classifies theft offenses according to the value of the property or services stolen. In some cases, the type of property may be considered also. As a result, a theft in Wisconsin can result in a misdemeanor or a felony charge. A conviction may result in the payment of fines, imprisonment, or both.
You may be charged with a misdemeanor if the value of the property or services stolen does not exceed $2,500. Typically the punishment can include a fine of no more than $10,000 and imprisonment of no more than 9 months. If the property or services are greater than $2,500, you may be charged with a felony, the penalties for which increase depending on the value of the property stolen.
In addition to criminal charges, a person who shoplifts may be civilly liable to the store owner. Parents of minors may be held responsible as well. Liability may include the retail value of the merchandise and damages caused by the shoplifter, exemplary damages or civil penalties and the costs associated with the owner bringing the civil action such as attorneys’ fees.
If you or a family member has been charged with a theft crime, contact the Waukesha Wisconsin employee theft & shoplifting Law Offices of Andrew C. Ladd, LLC for help. We will provide you with a strategic, aggressive criminal defense strategy against a range of theft crime charges. We have successfully represented clients facing criminal theft charges in Waukesha and throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. Contact our criminal defense attorneys for free initial consultation today 262-542-3900.