Wisconsin Expungement


What does expungement mean?

An "Expungement" is a legal process through which a person's prior criminal conviction is sealed, commonly referred to as being erased. After a Court orders an expungement, the prior conviction is removed from the public records.

In the common law legal system, an Expungement is the legal procedure of asking a court to order that the prior conviction be erased from a person's criminal record.

Black's Law Dictionary defines "expungement of record" as the "removal of a conviction from a person's criminal record".

Who can get a court record expunged?

Expungement is not a guaranteed right under Wisconsin law, and Wisconsin Courts are not required to order an expungement of a criminal record. See Expungement Process

A Wisconsin Court will only consider ordering an Expungement under the following conditions.

  1. The convicted person was under the age of 21 years at the time that the criminal act was committed;
  2. The criminal conviction was for no crime greater than a Misdemeanor;
  3. The convicted person completed his or her sentence successfully;
  4. All probation time was served;
  5. All fines were paid;
  6. The convicted person will benefit by the Expungement;
  7. The person has not been convicted of another criminal offense (Misdemeanor or Felony) since the conviction for which Expungement is sought; and
  8. Society will not be harmed by the Expungement.

what's the purpose of expungement

The purpose of Expungement is to allow a juvenile offender to enter adulthood with a "clean slate," shielding him or her from the negative effects of having a criminal record.

What happens to the expunged records?

After the expungement is approved by the court, the criminal conviction records are sealed, and removed from the Wisconsin Circuit Court website (CCAP).


To access the form that you can complete and submit to the Circuit Court to request that your record be expunged, please visit the Wisconin Courts website, Wisconsin Expungement Form.


A pardon, which also causes an offense to be erased from a criminal record, is very different from an Expungement.  A pardon is granted by the Governor; an Expungement is granted by a court.

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