EXPUNGEMENT: REMOVING A CRIMINAL CONVICTION

For convictions in State Circuit Court, Wisconsin law allows for expungement of a person’s criminal conviction in limited instances. It is typically ordered by the court at the time of sentencing, and requires that the individual successfully complete his or her sentence. Successful completion of the sentence includes completing any probationary period and/or period of extended supervision (formerly parole). It is also necessary that the person not be convicted of any new criminal offense while serving a sentence, or awaiting expungement of their conviction.

Eligibility for expungement depends in part upon when an individual was sentenced. If a person is sentenced after July 1, 2009, a court may expunge a criminal conviction from someone’s record in misdemeanor and limited felony convictions that have a maximum possible penalty of imprisonment for 6 years or less, and the defendant was under 25 at time of offense. If a person is sentenced before July 1, 2009, a court may expunge a criminal conviction from someone’s record in only misdemeanor convictions, and if the defendant was under 21 at the time of the offense.

If an individual is eligible, a motion for expungement must be drafted, filed, and argued in court. It is up to the Judge whether to grant expungement.


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