Wisconsin Expungement Series Part Two – Arrest Records
In our last blog post on Wisconsin Expungement we explained the general concept, and the process one must go through in order to receive the benefit of the Wisconsin expungement process. This blog post is going to be limited to an area closely associated to Wisconsin expungement, which is clearing your record of arrest records information retained by the local police.
It is very common for individuals to believe that the Wisconsin expungement process will wipe their record clean and that after Wisconsin expungement has occurred no one will find out about the conviction. However, as we explained in our last post that is simply not the case in Wisconsin. The local law enforcement agency who arrested you or the individual maintains a record of every arrest. In limited circumstances a person may be eligible to have this information removed from their record through the process of removing an individual’s arrest information from the database at the local police station or other agency.
Wisconsin Statute 164.84 states that “any person taken into custody and subsequently released without charge, or cleared of the offense through court proceedings, shall have any fingerprint record taken in conjunction therewith return upon request.” Put simply a person who is arrested in Wisconsin but not charged, or a person who is found not guilty or has their case dismissed is eligible to petition for their arrest information to be removed from the local police database.
To initiate the process of having an individual’s arrest information removed, a person must submit a form to the Wisconsin Department of Justice with documentation showing that the case was dismissed or that they were not prosecuted for the offense. A component of this form requires that you submit a fingerprint along with your request as that is how an individual is tied to their record. If the arrest information was provided to the FBI, upon removal from the Wisconsin database the Wisconsin Department of Justice will notify the FBI to remove the information from their record as well.
As outlined above, the only way for your Wisconsin arrest record information to be removed is if your case is dismissed, found not guilty or you are not charged initially. The importance of having an experienced criminal defense attorney from the time of the arrest is essential in preserving a person’s long term options with regards to their criminal history and background. Having an attorney from the time of arrest can drastically influence whether or not a person is charged and the overall outcome of the case.
If you or anyone you know are charged with a crime please feel free to call our office for assistance.
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