Restoration of Rights Project – Wisconsin Profile

Guide to restoration of rights, pardon, sealing & expungement following a Wisconsin criminal conviction

Wisconsin Compilation of Collateral Consequences

Interactive database of collateral consequences imposed by Wisconsin and federal statutes and regulations.  Prepared by the Collateral Consequences Resource Center for the Wisconsin Public Defender.

Felony Convictions and Employment (Wisconsin Law)

2014 guide from the Wisconsin Public Defender

Civil Consequences of Conviction – The Impact of Criminal Records under Wisconsin Law

2012 guide from the Wisconsin Public Defender




>> Select another state <<


Related blog posts:

  • New research report: Four Years of Second Chance Reforms, 2013-2016 (2/8/2017) - Introduction Since 2013, almost every state has taken at least some steps to chip away at the negative effects of a criminal record on an individual’s ability to earn a living, access housing, education and public benefits, and otherwise fully participate in civil society.  It has not been an easy task, in part because of the volume and complexity of [...]
  • Divided Wisconsin Supreme Court declines to extend Padilla to other serious consequences (6/10/2016) - Last month the Wisconsin Supreme Court held in State v. Lemere that the Sixth Amendment does not require defense counsel to advise a client that a conviction for a pending charge of sexual assault could result in future commitment proceedings under chapter 980. The case could be appropriate for certiorari review in the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the scope of the [...]
  • Wisconsin court rules for non-citizen years after her plea (3/3/2016) - In an unusual case involving judicial failure to warn about the immigration consequences of a guilty plea, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has held that the likelihood of inadmissibility (as opposed to deportation) was sufficient to set aside three guilty pleas entered more than a decade before. State v. Valadez, 216 WI 4 (Jan. 28, 2016).  The decision suggests that it [...]
  • Wisconsin considering redacting youthful dismissed charges (7/4/2015) - As part of budget deliberations, the Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Finance Commitment approved a provision that would allow courts to remove records of certain dismissed charges from the computerized statewide records system. Under current law, although certain conviction records of youthful defendants may be expunged, anomalously dismissed charges remain accessible.  The new provision would allow a judge to order removal of a [...]
  • Professional careers jeopardized by old charges (5/20/2015) - A local office of the Wisconsin State Public Defender recently assisted two former clients who encountered obstacles with their respective legal and medical careers (minor details have been changed to ensure client confidentiality).  These examples show that old criminal cases, even for relatively minor charges, can cause employment difficulties and frustrate professional advancement many years later. The first former client [...]
  • Is suspension of driving privileges an effective way to collect unpaid fines? (4/21/2015) - No, according to a recent study of efforts to enforce monetary judgments in a Milwaukee municipal court and to a national organization with expertise in traffic safety. The Justice Initiative Institute reviewed non-criminal, municipal cases from 2008-2013 in which the Milwaukee court had ordered the detention of defendants for not having paid fines. Not surprisingly, the report shows that most [...]
  • Wisconsin attorneys volunteer to help students facing expulsion (3/3/2015) - Expulsion or suspension from school, not surprisingly, does not bode well for academic success.  Students are much less likely to graduate when they miss significant time in school or have to change schools because they have been suspended or expelled. Incidents at school can have other serious and lasting consequences.  In Wisconsin, because 17-year-olds are considered adults when charged with [...]
  • Is pardon making a comeback? Probably not, but law reform may be (1/21/2015) - A recent issue of Governing Magazine reports that pardoning is “making a comeback” after decades of neglect.  It would be nice if it were true. But the evidence of comeback is thin. Almost all of the jurisdictions where pardoning is thriving today are the same ones where it was thriving a decade ago.  In a dozen states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Nebraska, [...]
  • Wisconsin high court holds youthful offenders entitled to “a fresh start” (12/19/2014) - The Wisconsin statute that allows courts to expunge certain conviction records of youthful offenders, Wis. Stat. § 973.015, provides that the court must make its decision about whether to expunge at the time of sentencing, conditioned upon the defendant successfully completing his or her sentence. Often, young defendants receive a probationary term for crimes that are eligible for expungement (all [...]
  • Reduced charge more harmful than original? (11/24/2014) - An earlier post highlighted the dilemma that some young Wisconsin defendants face because of the narrow scope of the law on sealing conviction records.  The court can seal the record of certain convictions, but the record of dismissed charges remains accessible to the public in a searchable online database.  Therefore, the dismissal can increase the potential for prospective employers to [...]