How long does a disorderly conduct forfeiture stay on your crimal record?

Asked over 1 year ago - Madison, WI

I spoke to an attorney who says I can't get forfeitures expunged so I was want to know if there's anything else I can do?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. J Steven House


    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I must correct the last answer, CCAP entries are the type of record that can be removed through the expungement process as they are considered court records.

    Now, a forfeiture offense is not a criminal offense so it's not technically a "criminal record," rather it's a civil judgment akin to a traffic ticket. Court clerks and reporters may destroy their records on forfeitures after a number of years, but that will not automatically eliminate a record of the offense and conviction within the court. While some judges may be convinced that the new expungement law permits expungement, the more persuasive reading is that it doesn't (this statute is currently under revision though, so it may be best to wait until the changes come out).

    Finally, if you do obtain an expungement under Wisconsin law, that does not eliminate law enforcement records in, local police department files, the Dept. of Justice's Crime Information Bureau or the NCIC databas. What that means is that any background check for arrests and convictions stemming from police contacts that goes beyond a cursory look at CCAP will turn up records despite "expungement" such as it currently exists.

    My advise would be to wait and see what, if any changes come out in the current retooling of the WI Criminal Code and consider it then.

  2. Jay K. Nixon

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . Unfortunately, the WI Statewide Circuit system maintains a public database available online with all convictions, as well as small claims court, collections, family court, and most other court activity forever. Once entered on it, your entre record (along with your personal information) remains there forever, with limited and difficult to obtain exceptions for such things as dismissed civil matters or criminal matters upon which you were totally acquitted. Even those removals only can occur after the expiration certain lengthily time periods and require you to submit extensive paperwork. However, if you are represented by an experienced criminal lawyer, it is sometimes possible to negotiate future expungement in advance of your conviction, assuming that you remain out for trouble for a certain period of time and the DA later approves it after reviewing your record. DA's also have limited authority to reopen and expunge old convictions, but this is rarely done, and again, occurs most frequently only after extensive efforts by experienced local criminal lawyers who have a developed a long standing relationship of trust with that particular DA's. Please do not assume that I am your attorney because of my response here. Call my office in Racine (262-633-3090 or email for clarifications or to make arrangements to retain me. Otherwise, I will not be taking any action on your case. See me on the web at View over fifteen years of my past answers at Answers may contain attorney advertising materials.

    My answer here does mean that I am representing you, so be sure to consult your own attorney before deciding on... more

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

27,186 answers this week

2,832 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

27,186 answers this week

2,832 attorneys answering