The expungement law in Wisconsin allows for certain types of crimes to be expunged under limited circumstances, including the age of the person at the time of conviction and the type of offense. Currently, expungement is only available to offenders who are convicted of low-level felonies (Class I and Class H) and misdemeanors if the person was under the age of 25 at the time of the offense, and expungement was ordered at the time of sentencing. See Wis. Stat. § 973.015(1m).
In 2017, two bills with proposed changes to Wisconsin’s expungement law are making their way through the state legislature. A new assembly bill with bipartisan support proposes to allow a person to seek expungement even if it was not ordered at the time of sentencing. It also would allow a person to seek expungement retroactively – meaning that people who were convicted of crimes prior to passage of the bill would still be eligible to seek expungement. The bill allows people to petition the court in which they were convicted for expungement if they can show rehabilitation since the time of their conviction.
A second bill is making its way through the state senate. It would allow expungement if a petition is filed within a year after successfully completing the sentence. While the house bill is more favorable to people who were convicted of low-level criminal offenses, both bills provide hope that very soon those people can petition to have their criminal records expunged.
Expungement effectively erases any court record of a criminal case, allows people to regain their civil rights, and prevents employment discrimination. These bills provide a valuable opportunity for individuals who were convicted of a criminal offense to show a court that they are deserving of a clean record.
A skilled attorney can effectively present your petition to the court to give you your best chance of getting an expungement. Rick Coad is known for his skill in crafting such petitions. Give him a call for a consultation today to take advantage of this important upcoming change in Wisconsin’s expungement law.