Criminal Damage to Property in Wisconsin: What You Need to Know

Posted by Attorney Stangl on April 3, 2015

Criminal Damage to Property in Wisconsin

In the U.S, each state has different laws concerning Criminal Damage to Property.

Criminal Damage to Property in Wisconsin is defined as an intentional act involving damage to any physical property of another individual without the consent of that person. In other words, it's intentionally doing something to damage someone's property without their permission.

This law was addressed by the Crimes against Property 943.01 updated in 2013-14. It was published and certified through section .35.18. April 1, 2015.

If you've been charged with a property crime in Wisconsin, you should contact a proven criminal defense attorney.

What are the consequences of Criminal Damage to Property in Wisconsin?

In most instances, criminal damage to property is regarded as a Class A misdemeanor punishable by about nine months in prison with a maximum fine of up to $10,000.

In other instances, criminal damage to property in Wisconsin may be considered as a felony; a class 1 felony when it involves loss of property with a value of more than $2,500. 

If you're unsure whether your offense constitutes a misdemeanor or a felony, contact an experienced Wisconsin criminal defense attorney for more information.

The other condition under which the damage may be considered as Class 1 felony is when the said damage was inflicted to a highway or road in Wisconsin where physical injury may be likely.

The third situation is when the said damage was done with an intention to disrupt a public utility such as water, gas, power or other.

You may also be interested in the article, "Outlining Differences Between Felonies and Misdemeanors in Wisconsin" by Stangl Law.

Class 1 Felony

In other instances, other crimes involving criminal damage to property in Wisconsin may also involve situations when an individual intentionally inflicts or threatens to cause damage the Property belonging to a Judge or his or her family.

Under this circumstance, damage is considered a Class 1 felony under the Section 943.013(2) of the State of Wisconsin. If during this time, the person threatening to cause the damage understands or should know the property belongs to a judge or a member of the family of that judge:

  • When the judge is performing in an official capacity
  • If the threatened action is in response to some action taken by such judge in an official capacity
  • When the person whose property was damaged gave or provided no official consent for such action


Other provisions of the Criminal damage to property in Wisconsin under §943.011 Wis. Stats and 943.012 Wis Stats may be applied to situations when one is threatening to cause damage to property of:

  • A Witness
  • Causing damage to religious property marking or drawings
  • Writings on a property such as Graffiti

Class A Misdemeanor

Other instances such as domestic disputes can also trigger charges of Class A misdemeanor under the §943.01 (1) Wis. Stats.

Strangely enough, under Wisconsin damage to property laws, an individual can also be convicted of criminally damaging their own property.

Under this scenario, a married couple is considered as a part-owner of one-half of the home or property belonging to both persons involved in the marital situation. This means that when one person damages a jointly-owned property, they are considered to be damaging the property of their spouse since that spouse has

This means that when one person damages a jointly-owned property, they are considered to be damaging the property of their spouse since that spouse has ownership interest in the said property as well.

Scenarios like these make damage to property offenses a complex issue requiring the assistance of a skilled Madison criminal defense attorney. Click here to contact Attorney Patrick Stangl today for a free consultation.

Experienced Defense Against Property Crimes in Wisconsin

Criminal Defense Attorney Pat Stangl has been successfully defending clients accused of criminal damage and other property crimes across Wisconsin since 1991.

The following Criminal Damage to Property victories represent a sampling of Attorney Stangl's success defending clients against such charges. Some of his prior case victories include:

  • State of Wisconsin v. T.B., Dane County
    Criminal Damage to Property/Criminal Trespass – Dismissed/Amended to Ordinance Violation
  • State of Wisconsin v. R.T., Sawyer County
    Discharge Firearm into Building with Criminal Damage to Property – Dismissed
  • State of Wisconsin v. K.M., Richland County
    Nine Counts Felony Criminal Damage to Property – Dismissed

These are just some examples of cases successfully defended by Attorney Stangl. It is not an exhaustive listing of all cases successfully defended by Stangl Law Offices, S.C. 


The slightest factual circumstances or disparities can change the result obtained in any particular case. The results posted herein are specific to the facts and legal circumstances of each of the clients’ cases and should not be used to form an expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters without knowledge of the specific factual and legal circumstances of each particular case.

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