Class A misdemeanor charges are serious. Even though an offender without a record likely won’t see any jail based on the charge alone, the maximum penalty is always in play. Hiring experienced criminal defense counsel to defend any charge makes sense. At Van Severen Law Office, S.C., our criminal defense attorneys defend all property crimes throughout Wisconsin. We regularly fight charges through trial and have a reputation for aggressive reputation throughout the state. Contact us immediately at (414) 270-0202 and we’ll begin figuring out how we can help.
(1) Whoever intentionally enters a locked coin box of another without consent and with intent to steal therefrom is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
(2) Whoever has in personal possession any device or instrumentality intended, designed or adapted for use in breaking into any coin box, with intent to use the device or instrumentality to break into a coin box and to steal therefrom, is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
(3) In this section, “coin box” means any device or receptacle designed to receive money or any other thing of value. The term includes a depository box, parking meter, vending machine, pay telephone, money changing machine, coin-operated phonograph and amusement machine if they are designed to receive money or other thing of value.
While some laws can be difficult to understand, this one is not. Firstly, the defendant must act intentionally. Secondly, he must enter a locked coinbox without consent and with intent to steal. And finally, he must steal. The jury instructions will certainly break this offense down a different way, but on the front end things appear relatively straightforward.
And finally, the statute describes what a coinbox is. Importantly, subsection (3) begins with a catchall – “any device or receptacle designed to receive money…” This surely allows things not listed in the statute – like piggy banks – to fall under this statute.
Wisconsin JI-Criminal 1433
Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 1433 describes entry into a locked coinbox. It’s important to remember that the purpose of jury instructions is to help the jury. In a more functional context, jury instructions break offenses down into elements, or pieces, that the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Analyzing a case using the jury instructions allows us to figure out where to focus our fight. The elements in this case are:
Firstly, the defendant intentionally entered a locked coin box of another. “Coin box” means any device or receptacle designed to receive money or any other thing of value; and
Secondly, the defendant intentionally entered a locked coin box without the consent of the owner; and
Thirdly, the defendant knew that the coin box belonged to another and knew that the entry was without the consent of the owner; and
Finally, the defendant entered the coin box with intent to steal. “Intent to steal” requires that the defendant had the mental purpose to take and carry away movable property of another without consent and that the defendant intended to deprive the owner permanently of possession of the property.
The instruction breaks down intent and consent into two separate elements. Otherwise, this is as we described after the statute. Importantly, theft cases also focus on the intent to steal. If the defendant’s actions showed that he seemed to want to take permanent possession of the item, that satisfies the element. Sometimes prosecutors try to satisfy this element before the crime is completed, making this a little more shaky.
How do we win my case?
Theft cases usually don’t occur after the defendant is caught in the act of the offense. In that situation, as we described earlier, it’s sometimes difficult for the prosecutor to even prove a theft charge. So once the item is gone, the victim is left trying to sort out who committed the offense. And with all that, prosecutors must prove charges against the defendant working with a lot of circumstantial evidence. Pointing out at trial these weaknesses in the government’s case could be the route to victory in your case.
But not all cases proceed to trial. Did the government execute a search warrant on your home, vehicle, or workplace? Did they find evidence of a crime? Before they’re granted a search warrant, the government must show probable cause to believe that they will find evidence of a crime where they’re searching. Attacking a weak search warrant could lead to suppression of the evidence the government plans to use against you. Sometimes this leads to a complete dismissal of the charges against you.
Importantly, all criminal cases are different. We offer free initial consultations, and at that consultation we’ll certainly begin planning the defenses for your specific case.
Contact Van Severen Law Office, S.C. for help with any theft charge
Entry into a locked coinbox charges are the most serious misdemeanor charges a defendant can face. The maximum penalty could send you to jail for up to 9 months. That’s a serious penalty.
Our criminal defense lawyers regularly help individuals facing all sorts of charges. Frequently these charges involve theft, or other various property issues. We recognize the issues involved in these cases and we’re prepared to fight for you. Contact us immediately at (414) 270-0202 and let’s start planning your defense.