Misdemeanor Guide

Wisconsin Misdemeanor

Wisconsin Misdemeanor Classes
Even as misdemeanors are not as harsh as felonies, they do not go without their own penalties. These penalties are classified by the state of Wisconsin into different misdemeanor classes. Those convicted of felonies are held, upon imprisonment, in state or federal prisons or penitentiaries, while those serving jail sentences for misdemeanors are held in county or local jails.

The highest and worst of all misdemeanors is the Class A Misdemeanor. The punishment for a Class A Misdemeanor is that of a fine up to ten thousand dollars, imprisonment up to nine months in a county jail facility, or both the fine and the imprisonment combined. If a person is a found to be a repeated offender, the imprisonment time may increase to two years instead of nine months.

Class B Misdemeanors can have fines up to one thousand dollars, a jail term served in a county jail up to ninety days, or both the jail sentence and fine combined. For repeated offenders, the jail sentencing for Class B Misdemeanors can increase to two years over ninety days.

Class C Misdemeanors are the last of the classifications of misdemeanors in Wisconsin. Class C Misdemeanors can carry fines up to five hundred dollars, imprisonment up to thirty days in a county jail facility, or both a jail sentence and a fine combined. Repeated offenders can receive a jail sentence up to two years instead of thirty days.

Wisconsin Misdemeanor Expungement
Expungement is the legal process in which an individual can have his or her criminal conviction sealed. In the case of expungement sealed means erased. After the court ordering of an expungement, the prior conviction or convictions are eliminated from public record. An individual must petition his or her case to the court in a request for expungement.

Expungement is often granted to those with juvenile records as that they may have the opportunity to have a clean life without the worry of past convictions. This allows for clean records for job applications and the application for licensing.

When an expungement is granted the criminal conviction is then sealed and removed from the circuit court website. A pardon is also possible instead of an expungement, but is very different. A pardon is issued by the Governor of Wisconsin, whereas an expungement is issued by the court.

Expungement Eligibility
Even though expungement is available, it is not a guaranteed legal right according to Wisconsin law. The court is not required to order an expungement just because one is requested.

The court will consider ordering an expungement only under particular conditions: the individual was under the age of twenty-one at the time the crime was committed; the criminal conviction was not greater than a misdemeanor; the individual convicted has completed his or her sentence fully; all probationary time has been served; all fines have been paid in full; the convicted individual will benefit from the granting of an expungement; the individual has not been convicted of any other criminal offense -- either misdemeanor or felony -- since the crime up for expungement has been committed; and the society as a whole will not be harmed by the granting of the expungement.

See also:
Wisconsin Expungement External link (opens in new window)
Wisconsin Felony External link (opens in new window)
Wisconsin Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)