Misdemeanor Theft Charge in Wisconsin: What happens next?
Get help from a criminal defense attorney if you’ve been arrested for misdemeanor theft
A charge of misdemeanor theft in Wisconsin applies any time you are accused of taking something of value from another person without intending to return it. If you are served with a summons and arrested on these charges, things start to move fast. You will want to hire an attorney right away, before the process starts moving in earnest toward a trial.
1. The Court Commissioner Sets Your Bond or Bail
When you first appear, a court commissioner decides whether you can be released on bond, or charged bail to be released until trial. This applies if he or she decides you can be released with a signed promise to pay if you do not appear for your arraignment. Here, a criminal attorney experienced in Madison courts can help immensely; he or she will understand the system and give you a much better chance of being released without an upfront payment of bail.
2. Pleas and Discovery
When you appear for your arraignment, you will be asked whether you plead guilty or not guilty. A guilty plea means you admit to the crime with which you are charged and consent to punishment. Not guilty means the opposite: you intend to fight your misdemeanor theft charge at trial. If you enter a not guilty plea, the prosecutor will turn over to you or your attorney the evidence with which the state will argue for your guilt. Here, again, an experienced criminal attorney can examine the evidence to look for weaknesses, or signs that the state may not be providing all of its evidence.
3. Court Date and Judge Assignment
At the end of this initial hearing, the Court will set your next hearing date and assign a judge to your case. Your attorney can help you file a motion for a different judge if appropriate; because judges approach cases differently, your attorney may know whether you may fare better with a different judge.
If you are arrested for misdemeanor theft, the right lawyer can help immensely. Contact Eisenberg Law Offices for help with your defense.