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Wisconsin Arrest Records

The Wisconsin Arrest Records include information concerning a person under investigation's arrest, temporary detention, or confinement. Law enforcement agencies create and keep these records after the apprehension of a person and before any court proceedings.

These records are public under the Wisconsin Public Records Law. However, there are some limitations on access to certain types of arrest records. For example, juvenile arrest records and certain types of sensitive information, such as medical records, are typically not subject to public disclosure.

The exact details in these records vary depending on the specific case and the agency responsible for maintaining them. Still, the following are some examples of the information that may be on the record:

  • Personal information such as the individual's full name, date of birth, and race, and other identifying information such as their height, weight, and hair color
  • The arrest's date, time, place, the arresting officer, and agency
  • The individual's criminal charges, related offenses, and outstanding warrants
  • The individual's bail or bond and any release conditions
  • Information about any court hearings or trials related to the arrest, including the dates and outcomes of these proceedings
  • Conviction and sentencing, including any fines, probation, or incarceration if the individual was convicted of the charges filed against them

It is crucial to remember that an arrest record just details the arrest and does not indicate the result of the case. In addition, an arrest record in Wisconsin does not establish the individual's guilt.

If a court finds the arrested individual not responsible for the allegations, the arrest record will note this information. Modifying, erasing, or deleting an arrest record under specific situations is also possible.

What Laws Govern Arrests in Wisconsin?

Like all states in the U.S., Wisconsin has laws that govern arrests. These laws surrounding arrests protect the rights of the arrestee and the police officers making the arrest.

One of the primary laws governing arrests in Wisconsin is Wisconsin Statute 968.07. This statute outlines the circumstances under which a law enforcement officer may make an arrest.

According to the statute, Wisconsin police officers have the authority to arrest individuals with a valid warrant or without one when they possess reasonable grounds to believe that an arrest warrant has been issued for the person.

Additionally, an officer can arrest someone if they witness them committing a misdemeanor or have reason to believe that the person committed a felony. This law ensures officers have the tools to apprehend individuals suspected of committing crimes.

In addition to establishing probable cause, Wisconsin's arrest laws require that the arrest be made reasonably. It means that the officer must use only the force necessary to make the arrest and not use excessive force or violence.

Lastly, the arresting officer must explain the arrest and the person's rights, including the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.

What Is the Arrest Booking Process in Wisconsin?

The arrest booking process in Wisconsin is a critical step in the criminal justice system. It involves the documentation of an individual's arrest and gathering information that will be used in court proceedings.

Here are the steps during the arrest booking process in Wisconsin:

Physical Search and Identification

When law enforcement officers arrest an individual in Wisconsin, they begin the booking process with a physical search.

The officers will search the individual for weapons, drugs, or other items that can harm themselves or others.

After the search, the officers will record the individual's personal information, including their name, address, and date of birth. The officers will also take the individual's fingerprints and a photograph to create a record of the arrest.

Criminal History Check

The second step in the arrest booking process is a criminal history check.

Law enforcement officers in Wisconsin will check the individual's criminal record, including any outstanding warrants or previous arrests, to determine if they are eligible for release on bail or should be held in custody until their court hearing.

Charging and Bail

After completing the criminal history check, the law enforcement officers will inform the individual of the charges against them.

If the individual is eligible for bail, they may be allowed to post bail and be released from custody until their court hearing. The amount of bail depends on the severity of the charges, the individual's criminal history, and the likelihood that they will appear in court.

Medical Assessment

The final step in the arrest booking process is a medical assessment. This assessment ensures that the individual is medically fit for custody.

Law enforcement personnel in Wisconsin will make arrangements for the person to obtain care from a medical practitioner before transporting them to a detention facility to ensure that any medical issues are addressed.

In Wisconsin, law enforcement authorities may detain suspects until they can post bail, receive a bond, or have their court hearing.

What Are Wisconsin Mugshot Records?

In Wisconsin, law enforcement agencies take photographs of individuals after they have been arrested for a criminal offense. These photographs are known as mugshots and are often in the individual's Wisconsin Arrest Records.

The purpose of a mugshot is to provide easy identification of an arrested person by victims, investigators, and the public. Mugshot records typically include a front-facing photograph of the individual, their name, age, arrest date, and charges.

Some Wisconsin government agencies maintain a database of these records, which anyone can access for free, particularly for sex offenders and inmates in state prisons. However, some mugshots may only be available online for a limited time.

Interested parties can also go to their local police stations during business hours and seek access to mugshots by requesting to examine the arrest records of the offender. This process may require filling out a form and paying a processing fee.

Courthouses within the county where a person was convicted and arrested can also provide mugshots of offenders whose records they maintain. However, one needs to know the convict's name and date of birth.

While arrest records are generally accessible to the public, their availability depends on the location and the information requested. In some cases, only a lawyer can obtain the needed information. Also, not all government agencies upload mugshots of arrested or convicted persons.

How Long Does an Arrest Record Stay in Wisconsin?

Depending on the violation committed, the applicable statute of limitations specifies how long a person's Wisconsin Arrest Records will be regarded as valid and accessible.

Before the second quarter of 2018, arrest records documented on the Consolidated Court Action Programs (CCAP) remained on file indefinitely. However, on 30 March 2018, the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access (WCCA) Oversight Committee and the Director of State Courts agreed to remove criminal cases resulting in a dismissal or acquittal from the CCAP after two years.

In addition, the modifications influence various forms of criminal and non-criminal proceedings. Unless otherwise specified in SCR Chapter 72, the original paper records of any court must remain with the court for the following minimum periods:

  • Class A felony cases: 75 years
  • Class B – I felony cases: 50 years
  • Family cases: 30 years
  • Misdemeanor cases: 20 years
  • Criminal traffic cases: 20 years
  • Civil matters not related to small claims: 20 years
  • Forfeiture and traffic forfeiture cases: 5 year

How To Expunge an Arrest Record in Wisconsin

Arrest record expungement in Wisconsin is a legal process that allows a person arrested for a crime to have their arrest record sealed or erased. The arrest history will not be visible to the public or potential employers during background checks, and the person can legally state they were not arrested or charged with a crime.

To expunge Wisconsin Arrest Records, one must fulfill certain conditions according to Wisconsin Statutes section 973.015.

These conditions include being released without criminal charges after detention or having charges dropped or dismissed. One may also be eligible for expungement if the individual was under 25 when they committed the crime or if the crime committed carried a maximum sentence of six years.

Furthermore, victims of human trafficking convicted of a prostitution violation may apply to have their convictions removed from Wisconsin criminal records.

Suppose the individual was arrested but never formally charged, or the court dismissed the charges. In that case, they may be able to remove specific information regarding the arrest from the Wisconsin Criminal History Repository by submitting a designated form to the Crime Information Bureau (CIB) of the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Suppose the arrest resulted in a conviction. In that case, to request an expungement, individuals must complete the CR-266 form after completing the terms of their sentencing. Filing of this petition must be with the court in the county where the arrest or offense occurred.

The court will review the case and determine whether to grant expungement based on factors such as the severity of the offense, the individual's age at the time of the crime, their criminal history, and their current behavior and activities.

How To Search Wisconsin Arrest Records

The local police department or Sheriff's Office responsible for the arrest can provide access to public arrest records under Wisconsin state law to individuals other than the record holder upon request.

Requesters may access these data online or submit a written request to the department that maintains them. However, the rules and regulations for accessing records may differ across state agencies.

Typically, when requesting public records, the requester should provide their legal name and contact information, including phone number, email, and mailing address. They should also specify the name and details of the document they seek, the delivery date, and if they want it via email or mail.

Another option for accessing state arrest records is the Wisconsin Online Records Check System (WORCS), where an individual can search for a name-based criminal record.

WORCS requires a user account and the complete names, birth dates, and social security numbers of the people whose records are sought. After approval, the requester can pay for a name-based criminal record search.

In addition, interested parties may utilize the WCCA website to conduct a free public criminal background check and have access to Wisconsin Arrest Records. To do an effective case search, the requester must have the defendant's name and date of birth.

Counties in Wisconsin

Jails and Prisons in Wisconsin

Milwaukee Women's Correctional Center615 West Keefe Ave., Milwaukee, WI
Felmers O. Chaney Correctional Center2825 N. 30th St., Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee County WI Juvenile Delinquency Services10201 West Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee County House of Correction8885 South 68th Street, Franklin, WI
Marshall E. Sherrer Correctional Center1318 N. 14th Street, Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility1015 N. 10th St., Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee County WI Jail - Central Facility949 North 9th Street, Milwaukee, WI
Thompson Correctional Center434 State Farm Road, Deerfield, WI