Criminal records can be a disadvantage when looking for a job or finding a place to live. Employers and landlords will often do background checks to ensure the trustworthiness of potential employees and residents. If they don’t want to hedge their bets on you, likely they will deny your application. In many states, however, certain criminal records can be expunged, or sealed, so the public cannot see them. Wisconsin has strict rules on expungement, but it may be worth it to explore the option.
The first thing to determine is whether or not your records are eligible for expungement. For many adult convictions, most crimes are ineligible for expungement. Juveniles are more likely to have their records expunged once the sentence has been completed successfully because the court is more likely to think of a minor’s crime as a young person’s mistake. However, the court may make a similar order for records of crimes you committed when you were under the age of 25 if you meet the following additional requirements:
- The prison sentence was no more than 6 years
- The court believes you will benefit and the public will not be harmed by the expungement
- Your crime was a Class H or I felony, was not violent, and you have no other felonies on your record
If you meet these eligibilities, your expungement still isn’t automatic. You must file a petition. You can request to have arrest records removed, and your fingerprint card returned to you if you were also acquitted or if the charges against you were dropped or dismissed.
In order to have your record expunged, you must file a Petition to Expunge Court Record of Conviction in the same court that convicted you. The form will ask you to acknowledge you meet the requirements of expungement and you understand only court records will be expunged. To regain your fingerprint card, you must submit a Fingerprint Record Removal Request to the Crime Information Bureau. The form will ask you for an inked fingerprint impression to confirm your identity.
If you want to see if you qualify for expungement, don’t hesitate to talk to our skilled Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer. Christopher J. Cherella has more than 20 years of legal experience to offer you and your case. Let us see what we can do for you.
Call us at (414) 882-8382 or fill out our online form to schedule a case consultation with us today.