In Wisconsin, Burglary is a Class F Felony and Armed Burglary is a Class E Felony. The maximum sentence for a Class F Felony is 12 and-and-half years in prison and/or a $25,000.00 fine. The maximum sentence for a Class E Felony is 15 years in prison and/or a $50,000.00 fine.
In order to be found guilty of burglary, the State would have to prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt. First, you intentionally entered a building or dwelling. Second, you did not have the owner’s permission to do so. Third, you had the intent to steal or commit a felony while in that building or dwelling. You do not have to succeed in stealing anything; rather, you must only have the intent to steal something, or otherwise the intent to commit a felony.
Burglary becomes armed burglary when one of the following situations occurs: (1) you are armed with a dangerous weapon; (2) you entered the building unarmed but then picked up a dangerous weapon while committing the burglary; (3) you attempt to use an explosive; (4) you physically harmed any person that was legally present in the building; or (5) another person is legally present in the building at the time of the burglary. There are additional defenses available for a charge of armed burglary. One defense may be that you were not armed with a dangerous weapon at any point during the alleged burglary. Another potential defense may be that there was no person legally present in the building at the time of the alleged offense. A third potential defense may be that you did not intend to steal another person’s property or otherwise commit a felony at the time you entered the building. Because each defense can depend on specific facts of each case, which can mean a defense may apply in one case but not another similar case, it is important that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you evaluate the strength of your possible defenses. Please contact an attorney at our firm for a consultation and we look forward to discussing your case in detail.