Wisconsin Criminal Records
The criminal records in Wisconsin are a collection of legal documents that detail an individual's interactions with the state criminal justice system.
Wisconsin Criminal Records are essential for law enforcement agencies, courts, and other legal professionals in maintaining public safety and upholding the law. These records provide a detailed history of an individual's criminal activity and help authorities make informed decisions regarding employment, housing, and immigration.
Depending on the specific details of an individual's criminal history, these records may contain various types of information, such as the following:
- Name, address, date of birth, sex, aliases, and other identifying details of the subject
- Physical descriptors such as height and weight
- Information about an individual's arrests, including the arrest date and location, the name of the arresting agency, and the charges filed
- Details about the court proceedings, including the dates of the court hearings, the presiding judge, and the verdict
- Information about any convictions or guilty pleas, including the sentence and any probation or parole terms
- Information about outstanding arrest warrants or orders issued against the individual
- Details about any incarceration, including the location and duration of the sentence and the release date
In Wisconsin, criminal records are generally public records under the Wisconsin Open Records Law, which means that members of the public have a right to access them.
However, certain criminal records may be exempt from public disclosure, such as juvenile records, certain confidential law enforcement records, and some related to ongoing investigations or prosecutions.
What Are the Types of Crimes in Wisconsin?
Like other states, Wisconsin has unique laws and regulations governing criminal activity. In this state, criminal offenses are classified into numerous categories based on the gravity of the crime and other elements, such as the perpetrator's purpose and the victim's damage.
Here are the various types of crimes that exist in Wisconsin:
Felonies in Wisconsin are serious criminal offenses that carry a potential penalty of imprisonment for one year or more. Wisconsin categorizes felonies into nine classes, with Class A being the most severe and Class I being the least harsh.
Listed below are examples of offenses in each classification and their corresponding maximum penalties:
Class A Felonies
Class A felonies are the most severe felony offenses in Wisconsin, punishable by life imprisonment. Some examples of these offenses include first-degree intentional homicide, treason, and first-degree sexual assault involving minors under 13.
Class B Felonies
If someone is guilty of a Class B felony in Wisconsin, they risk 60 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $100,000, or both.
Class B felonies include second-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, kidnapping, and some types of sexual assault.
Class C Felonies
These serious criminal offenses in Wisconsin are punishable by up to 40 years imprisonment, up to a $100,000 fine, or both. Some examples of Class C felonies in Wisconsin are mayhem, armed robbery, incest with a child, and trafficking of a child.
Class D Felonies
This category of felony encompasses offenses such as fleeing the scene of a fatal accident and possessing child pornography.
The penalty for this type of felony is severe, carrying a hefty fine of $100,000, up to 25 years prison sentence, or both.
Class E Felonies
This classification pertains to severe criminal activities, such as aggravated burglary and carjacking. Perpetrators of such crimes are subject to significant consequences, including a fine of $50,000, up to 15 years imprisonment, or both.
Class F Felonies
Class F felonies include theft exceeding $100,000 and sedition, among others. These crimes entail significant penalties, including a maximum fine of $25,000, a prison term of 12 and a half years, or both.
Class G Felonies
Class G felonies in Wisconsin encompass illegal firearm purchases and negligent vehicular homicide, among other offenses. The penalties for such crimes are severe, resulting in a $25,000 fine, up to 10 years prison term, or both.
Class H Felonies
This category includes serious crimes such as willfully violating a no-contact order, engaging in strangulation, and perpetrating extortion. Those found guilty of such offenses will face severe consequences, including a hefty fine of $10,000, a prison sentence of up to six years, or both.
Class I Felonies
This type of felony includes heinous acts such as invasion of privacy, evading the police, and committing aggravated battery. Class I felonies in Wisconsin carry significant penalties, including a steep fine of $10,000, a prison term of up to three and a half years, or both.
Misdemeanors may not be as severe as felonies, but they are still punishable under Wisconsin law. The possible penalties for a misdemeanor charge may include fines and imprisonment for up to one year in a county jail.
In Wisconsin, misdemeanors are classified into four categories, each with varying degrees of severity.
Class A Misdemeanors
This misdemeanor category is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, a possible nine-month jail sentence, or both. Offenses under this type include restraining order violation, battery, petty theft, and fourth-degree sexual assault.
Class B Misdemeanors
Class B misdemeanors in Wisconsin, such as unlawful entry into a medical facility, theft of wireless or cable services, or disorderly conduct, can result in a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine, 90 days in jail, or both upon conviction.
Class C Misdemeanors
A Class C misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of a $500 fine, 30 days in jail, or both. Such misdemeanors include violations at state fair parks, public intoxication on transportation, and vagrancy charges.
In Wisconsin, an unclassified misdemeanor is a type of misdemeanor that does not fall under the classification of Class A, B, or C misdemeanors. It means the penalties for an unclassified misdemeanor can vary widely depending on the offense and its circumstances.
Some examples of unclassified misdemeanors in Wisconsin include traffic violations and failure to appear in court.
How Does Probation Work in Wisconsin?
Probation in Wisconsin is a court-imposed sentence allowing individuals to serve their punishment outside a correctional facility. Instead of going to jail or prison, the offender is placed under the supervision of a probation officer.
The Division of Community Corrections (DCC) within the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (WDOC) oversees probation services in Wisconsin. The division works with probation officers to ensure public safety and to provide rehabilitation for the offender.
The probation officer's role is to enforce the terms of the probation agreement, supervise the offender's behavior, and provide guidance and support to help the offender complete their sentence.
A critical aspect of probation in Wisconsin is using risk assessments to determine the appropriate level of supervision and support needed for each probationer. These assessments consider factors such as the nature of the offense, the offender's Wisconsin Criminal Records, and their risk of reoffending.
Based on the assessment results, the probation officer can determine the appropriate level of supervision and support needed to ensure public safety and the offender's successful rehabilitation.
Probation Terms and Conditions in Wisconsin
The terms and conditions of probation are in a written agreement between the probationer and the court. Violations of these terms could result in the revocation of probation and imprisonment.
The conditions of probation in Wisconsin may vary widely depending on the nature of the crime and the offender's circumstances. Some common conditions include regular meetings with the probation officer, drug and alcohol testing, community service, not committing any new crimes, and refraining from drug or alcohol use.
In addition to the standard conditions, the court may require probationers to comply with special requirements tailored to their situation. For example, a probationer convicted of drunk driving may be required to attend alcohol education classes or participate in a treatment program. A probationer convicted of theft may be required to complete a restitution payment plan.
Early discharge from probation is a possibility for eligible offenders in Wisconsin. To be considered for early discharge, the offender must meet specific criteria set forth by the state.
These criteria include serving at least 50% of the probation term and being under minimum or administrative supervision for a reasonable period. The offender must also complete all financial commitments to victims, the court, and the department and any probation requirements specified by the sentencing court.
However, not all offenders are eligible for early discharge from probation in Wisconsin. Offenders required to register under Wisconsin Statutes section 301.45 do not qualify for this possibility.
It is worth noting that while early discharge from probation can be a positive outcome for eligible offenders, it is not a guarantee and is still at the discretion of the court and probation department.
How Does Parole Work in Wisconsin?
Parole is considered a supervised release granted to offenders who have served a portion of their prison sentence. It helps offenders reintegrate into society while still being overseen by the WDOC. The Wisconsin Parole Commission (WPC) is responsible for deciding whether an offender should be granted parole and establishing the conditions of their release.
To be eligible for parole in Wisconsin, an offender must have served the mandatory time required by their sentence and demonstrate a willingness to comply with the parole conditions.
However, not all convicts are eligible for the Wisconsin parole process. Only offenders convicted of crimes committed before December 31, 1999, are parole-eligible. Anyone who commits a felony on or after that date, with at least a one-year prison sentence, is ineligible for parole under Wisconsin Truth-in-Sentencing laws.
The WPC reviews each case individually to determine whether an offender is suitable for parole. The commission considers several factors in granting parole, including the offender's criminal history, prison behavior, and potential community risk.
The commission may also consider the views of victims and the community and the opinions of the offender's probation and parole officers.
After parole is granted, the offender is released from prison and must comply with the parole commission's conditions. These conditions may include regular check-ins with a parole officer, participating in substance abuse treatment or counseling, and refraining from criminal activity.
Failure to comply with the conditions of parole may result in revocation and a return to prison.
How Does Expungement Work in Wisconsin?
Expungement in the state is a legal process that allows individuals to have certain Wisconsin Criminal Records sealed or erased from public view.
In Wisconsin, expungement is possible for certain offenses, but the process can be complex and challenging.
In Wisconsin, expungement is governed by Wisconsin Statutes section 973.015. This statute allows for expungement for individuals convicted of certain offenses before they turn 25. The crimes eligible for expungement include certain misdemeanors and low-level felonies, such as theft or drug possession.
To be eligible for Wisconsin expungement, individuals must meet specific requirements. First, they must have been under 25 during the offense. Second, the crime must carry a maximum period of imprisonment of six years or less, and the individual must have completed the terms of their sentence.
Finally, they must not have been convicted of any other offense since the time of the original crime.
If an individual meets these requirements, they can petition the court for expungement. The process involves filing a motion with the court and attending a hearing. At the hearing, the individual must show that they have taken steps to rehabilitate themselves since the offense and that they would benefit from expungement.
The court will consider factors such as the nature of the offense, the individual's criminal history, and their employment and educational goals.
If the court grants the petition for expungement, the individual's criminal record will no longer be accessible to the general public, including future employers and landlords.
How To Obtain a Criminal Record in Wisconsin?
Obtaining a public record can be daunting, but the Department of Justice (DOJ) makes it easier for interested parties to access Wisconsin Criminal Records.
In this system, interested individuals must create a user account to access a Wisconsin Criminal Record. Once the account is approved, the requester may perform a name-based criminal record search for a fee.
In addition to the WORCS, individuals may perform a free public criminal record search using the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access website. To get information from an individual's criminal history through this platform, requesters must know the defendant's name and date of birth for an accurate case search.
What Are the Criminal Background Check Laws in Wisconsin?
Under Wisconsin law, employers are generally allowed to conduct criminal background checks on job applicants, but there are limitations on what they can ask and when they can ask it.
In 2015, Assembly Bill 373 changed Wisconsin's employment laws. Public sector employers are now restricted from inquiring about a job applicant's criminal history information during the initial application process. The inquiry can only occur during the interview stage.
Furthermore, according to Wisconsin Statutes section 111.335, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against an applicant based on their criminal history information. It includes a prohibition against relying on arrests that did not result in a conviction.
When an employer learns about an applicant's criminal record, they must review it based on how it relates to the job. They must do this before making any decisions that could hurt the applicant's chance of getting the job.
Employers are also prohibited from asking about convictions expunged, pardoned, or older than seven years unless the job pays $75,000 annually.
Aside from these state laws, employers must understand two federal laws that apply to pre-employment background checks during the hiring process in Wisconsin. These laws include the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Employers must comply with these laws to avoid legal issues arising during hiring.
Counties in Wisconsin
- Eau Claire
- Fond Du Lac
- Green Lake
- La Crosse
- Saint Croix
Police Departments and Sheriffe Office in Wisconsin
List of Content
- What Are the Types of Crimes in Wisconsin?
- How Does Probation Work in Wisconsin?
- How Does Parole Work in Wisconsin?
- How Does Expungement Work in Wisconsin?
- How To Obtain a Criminal Record in Wisconsin?
- What Are the Criminal Background Check Laws in Wisconsin?