Is Wisconsin Catching Up On Expungement Laws?

With bold red letters slapped across their records, many individuals with prior criminal convictions find it difficult to transition back into society. Expungement is the process that seals a person’s criminal record. In other words, it legally erases evidence of a criminal charge on that person’s record.

 

In Wisconsin, courts currently allow a person to be granted expungement only when certain circumstances are met:

 
  • You were under the age of 25 at the time you committed the crime

  • The crime committed was a non-violent, low-level offense

  • The crime carried a maximum period of imprisonment of six years or less, and

  • You requested (and were granted) an expungement at the time of your sentencing

 

Early this year, state lawmakers proposed a bill that would amend the current law and allow more people to seek expungement. Essentially, the proposed bill would do a few key things:

 
  • Allow those who were denied expungement during sentencing to seek it again after they complete their sentence (and every two years thereafter)

  • Eliminate the age restriction

  • Prohibit employers from asking whether their record was expunged

The Benefits of Expungement

The benefits of allowing someone to expunge their non-violent offense not only apply to that individual’s life but can also impact society at large. Many with priors run into some difficulty finding jobs. In fact, nearly 27 percent of those previously incarcerated are unemployed, compared to the overall six percent of the U.S. population.

 

Expanding expungement opportunities in Wisconsin may give thousands an opportunity to find work and help build the state’s workforce. Hopefully, we will see full legislation of the proposed law begin later this year.

Your Post-Conviction Relief Options

We understand that everyone makes mistakes. Some are left paying for their mistakes for the remainder of their lives. We believe in helping these people move on so they can become productive members of society.

 

Our criminal defense attorney, Jason D. Baltz, is committed to helping these individuals move forward. Backed by 15 years of legal experience, we have what it takes to help you seek the best possible outcome for your situation.

 

To learn more about post-conviction relief in Wisconsin, contact our firm at (414) 375-0797.

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