What is an Expungement?
An "Expungement" is a legal process through which a person's prior criminal conviction is removed from the pulic record. In Wisconsin, after a Court orders an expungement, the conviction is also removed from the Wisconsin Circuit Court's public website, referred to as CCAP.
Black's Law Dictionary defines "expungement of record" as the "removal of a conviction from a person's criminal record".
What happens if the record is Expunged?
If the record is Expunged:
- only the Court record of the conviction will be Expunged,
- other Court records will not be affected,
- records of the police will not be affected,
- records of the Crime Information Bureau will not be affected,
- records of other law enforcement agencies will not be affected,
- records of the district attorney and the district attorney's office will not be affected,
- the conviction is not vacated, and
- the conviction is not set aside.
Who may ask for an Expungement?
The only person who can ask for an Expungement is the person who was convicted in the case. That person may be represented by an Attorney who may ask the Court for the Expungement on behalf of the person who was convicted in the case.
If the court orders an expungement, is the court required to grant it?
Expungement is not a guaranteed right under Wisconsin law, and Wisconsin Courts are not 'required' to grant an expungement of a criminal record even if the Court's sentencing order states that the conviction may be expunged upon completion of the sentence. Certain offenses carry a mandatory requirement, which mandates a Court include in its order an order to Expunge the conviction upon conditions.
See Expungement Process, Wisconsin Expungement Laws, Mandatory Expungement Laws
what's the purpose of expungement
The purpose of Expungement is to facilitate a person's betterment by allowing him/her to move forward with a "clean slate."
FORM REQUESTING EXPUNGEMENT
To access the form you may complete and submit to the Circuit Court of original jurisdiction to request that your record be expunged, please review, Wisconsin Expungement Form.
A pardon, which also causes an offense to be removed from a criminal record, is very different from an Expungement. A pardon is granted by the Governor; an Expungement is granted by a court.