How to Have Juvenile Criminal Records Sealed
People who have prior juvenile criminal records and who meet specific requirements can have those records sealed. This does not erase the records, but it does seal them so that the person does not have to report them. This gives the person a boost when applying for a job or apartment as he or she no longer has to tell about the charge, potentially opening up more opportunities that might have otherwise been cut off.
Sealing and Expungement
In Wisconsin, you may also hear sealing called expungement. However, because the terms can have slightly different meanings depending on context, always be sure that you and the other parties involved know what your goal is. In general, sealing means making a record inaccessible, but not erasing the record; expungement means to “strike or obliterate from the record all references to the defendant’s name and identity.”
For juvenile crimes in Wisconsin, expungement is the more likely process. If you want a record expunged, you must have successfully completed or complied with all of the conditions of your sentence or dispositional order. You must also be at least 17 years old when you request the expungement; if the criminal offense happened when you were under 25, you can be eligible for expungement if your sentence was less than six years.
Note that meeting those requirements does not guarantee expungement. The court has to confirm that cleaning up your record and allowing you to stop reporting your record will benefit society and not create new potential for harm. Certain felonies may not be expunged.
Be aware, too, that if you get in trouble again, your old records could be used against you.
If you’re interested in having an old juvenile criminal record expunged, contact Eisenberg Law Offices at (608) 256-8356. Set up a consultation with one of our attorneys to confirm that you qualify for expungement and to find out more about the paperwork and process this involves.