Receiving stolen property is a crime involving the acquisition of goods with the knowledge that they’ve been stolen or otherwise taken unlawfully.
For example, if you buy a motorcycle from a friend who tell you he stole it from someone else, you can be convicted of this crime.
Similarly, if you receive property and store it knowing it’s indeed stolen or under a set of circumstances that would have alerted a reasonable person to it being stolen, you may also be found guilty.
Let’s take a closer look at the penalties in Wisconsin as well as what the best course of action is moving forward.
What are the penalties for receiving stolen property in Wisconsin?
The penalties for the majority of property crimes are determined by the value of the property that was stolen or concealed.
Here are how penalties typically break down for property crimes in Wisconsin:
If the value of the stolen property received or concealed is $2,500 or less, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor.
• This is punishable by up to 9 months in jail and up to a $10,000 fine.
If the value of the property is over $2,500, the crime becomes a Class I felony.
• This is punishable by a 3-year, 6-month prison sentence, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
If the value of the property exceeds $5,000 but does not exceed $10,000, the crime is a Class H felony.
• This is punishable by a term of imprisonment of 6 years and a fine up to $10,000, or both.
If the value of the property exceeds $10,000, the crime is a Class G felony.
• This is punishable by a maximum prison term of 10 years and a fine up to $25,000, or both.
Want to learn more about the difference between misdemeanors and felonies? Read my post: Outlining Differences Between Felonies and Misdemeanors in Wisconsin.
What is needed to convict someone of receiving stolen property in Wisconsin?
In order to make a conviction, the state needs to prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
1. That the defendant intentionally received or concealed property
Under Wisconsin law, the term “received” means “acquiring possession of control” over the property. To “conceal” means to either hide the property or to act in such a way that prevents or makes it more difficult to discover the property in question.
2. The property must be stolen
“Stolen” in this context is pretty straightforward. It means that the property has been intentionally taken from the owner without his or her permission (or consent) and with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of possession of the property.
3. The defendant must know that the property was stolen
In order to obtain a conviction, the State must prove the defendant actually had knowledge that the property was indeed stolen beyond a reasonable doubt.
A defendant’s lack of knowledge is often the primary defense in many receiving stolen property cases.
What should I do next?
If you’ve been arrested and/or charged with receiving stolen property in Wisconsin, it’s crucial to contact an experienced Madison criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
A skilled attorney can review your options with you and plan the best course of action to resolve your criminal or civil case.