How do I get a 21 year old record for retail theft of a $10 wallet in Wisconsin sealed or expunged?

I was charged with retail theft of a $10 wallet at the age of 20. The court did not order an expungement at the time which I've been told may be a problem. I did not have any sentencing for jail time nor was I put on probation. I was just ordered to pay a fine. I have no prior arrests and no arrests since the one for theft of the wallet.

Kenosha, WI -

Attorney Answers (3)

Michael C. Witt

Michael C. Witt

Criminal Defense Attorney - Jefferson, WI
Answered

There is no way to seal or expunge law enforcement records.

If you were not convicted of a crime, you have no criminal record.

A forfeiture or ordinance conviction by default is still a conviction, whether in municipal or circuit court.

Under present WI law, there is no way to go back and force expungement if it was not available and addressed at the time of sentencing. On a twenty year-old citation, even if court records still exist, it is going to be difficult to try and get sufficient information to accomplish anything by agreement, especially in a default situation.

This answer is provided for general information only. No legal advice can be given without a consult as to the... more
Peter J. Heflin

Peter J. Heflin

Criminal Defense Attorney - Milwaukee, WI
Answered

There may be a way to get the conviction vacated, but that would depend on a lot of things going right. You would essentially have to get the prosecuting attorney and judge to agree to reopen the case and dismiss the charge. This may be difficult based on the age of the case. However, if you are successful, the records regarding the case will still exist, if they haven't already been destroyed, but the records will show that the case was dismissed instead of showing a conviction.

James Donald Garrett

James Donald Garrett

Criminal Defense Attorney - Virginia Beach, VA
Answered

Generally convictions are not able to be expunged. Contact an attorney in WI to see if you might qualify.

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