The Crime of Burglary in Wisconsin

By Reddin & Singer


As in every other state, burglary is a serious crime in the state of Wisconsin. If you or someone you know has been accused of burglary, it is important to contact an experienced Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer who can help you handle your case. A potential burglary conviction should not be taken lightly. It can affect every aspect of your life, including your future employment opportunities as well as your reputation.

In the state of Wisconsin, ordinary burglary is defined as entering one of the following without the consent of the owner and with the intent to commit any theft or felony inside: any building, any enclosed railroad car or ship, a locked and enclosed cargo portion of a truck or trailer, or a motor home trailer. Burglary is also committed if an individual enters any part of a building or vehicle described above with the intent to commit theft or a felony inside.

Traditionally, the definition of burglary required that a person enter a building at nighttime. In recent years, the nighttime requirement has been abolished, and a person can still be convicted of burglary no matter what time he or she enters the building.

Under Wisconsin law, aggravated burglary is a separate burglary crime. Aggravated burglary is the crime of ordinary burglary as well as one of the following conditions:

  • The person is armed with a dangerous weapon or device;
  • The person opens or tries to open a safe or vault with explosives;
  • The person commits battery upon a person lawfully present in the dwelling; or
  • The burglary takes place at a dwelling, motor home or trailer, or a boat, and another person (not a co-burglar) is present at the time of the violation.

The maximum penalty under Wisconsin for ordinary burglary is 12 years and six months in jail, as well as a fine of up to $25,000. Aggravated burglary is a Class E Felony with a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison as well as a fine of up to $50,000.

It is important to note that the statute of limitations for burglary cases is six years in the state of Wisconsin. This means that if the State accuses you of burglary beyond this six-year mark, they have likely lost the legal right to file a complaint against you. This is one of the first things your criminal defense attorney should check for.

Facing a criminal charge can be a very stressful situation. When your future is at stake, it is best to seek the advice of a qualified Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer who understands what it takes to handle your case. At Reddin & Singer, our team works diligently to collect the facts of your case and create a strategy suited specifically to your legal situation. We take pride in keeping an open line of communication with our clients. You can trust us to be your legal advisers throughout the entire process. Do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at (414) 271-6400.