2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
March 20, 2020 - Introduced by Representatives Goyke, Hebl, Sargent, Neubauer,
Emerson, Anderson, Bowen, Crowley, Zamarripa, Spreitzer, Subeck,
Brostoff, Billings, Ohnstad and Considine, cosponsored by Senators Smith,
Risser, Larson and L. Taylor. Referred to Committee on Criminal Justice and
1An Act to create
939.76 of the statutes; relating to: expungement of criminal
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill creates a procedure to expunge the records of a criminal case that did
not result in a conviction.
Under current law, when a criminal record is expunged, all information in the
case record is sealed or destroyed. Under current law, there is no requirement to
expunge a record of a case that did not result in a conviction.
Under the bill, if a person is charged with a misdemeanor or certain traffic
violations but the person is acquitted or the charges are dismissed, the court must
order that the record of the case be expunged.
Under the bill, if a person is charged with a felony, but the person is acquitted
or the charges are dismissed, the person may petition the court to order expungement
of the case record. If the court finds that the person will benefit and society will not
be harmed by the expungement, the court may order expungement of the case record.
Under the bill, a person may not file an expungement petition for a felony charge of
operating a vehicle while intoxicated or for a felony traffic violation involving an
injury. Under the bill, the court must notify the Department of Justice that the record
has been expunged and must seal or destroy the case documents. The bill allows a
person to petition for expungement of cases that were closed before the effective date
of the bill.
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
939.76 of the statutes is created to read:
2939.76 Expungement of circuit court records. (1)
(a) When a defendant 3
in a case is acquitted on all charges or when all charges against a defendant in a case 4
are dismissed, the court shall order that the record of the case be expunged if the 5
court determines that all charges are eligible for expungement. The charges that are 6
eligible for expungement under this paragraph are as follows:
1. Any misdemeanor.
2. A felony violation of ch. 343 or 346 except as provided under par. (c).
(b) 1. Upon a petition or motion to the court at any time after a defendant in 10
a case is acquitted on all charges or after all charges against a defendant in a case 11
are dismissed, the court may order expungement of a record of a felony case that did 12
not result in a conviction if the court determines that the defendant in the case will 13
benefit from, and that society will not be harmed by, the expungement.
2. A petition or motion under this paragraph shall be filed in the circuit court 15
of the county of the felony case.
3. The court may not impose a filing fee for a petition filed under this 17
(c) The court may not order expungement under par. (a) and a person may not 19
petition the court for expungement under par. (b) for a felony violation of ch. 343 or 20
346 that involves an injury or for a felony violation of s. 346.63.
Upon receiving an order from the court to expunge a court record, the clerk 2
of the court shall do all of the following:
(a) Inform the department of justice that the record is being expunged by order 4
of the court.
(b) Treat the record in the manner required by SCR 72.06.
(1) A person may petition the court for expungement under s. 939.76 (1) (a) or 8
(b) for a case in which the person was acquitted for all charges or all charges were 9
dismissed prior to the effective date of this subsection.