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Can a expunged case be reopened after sealed by the court

Rhinelander, WI |

if you were told that once your case has been expunged you can legally deny the crime ever happened if told by your attorney why do they tell you this if its not true to how the law reads it.

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Attorney answers 3


A sealed case may open be open by
court order, and generally you must
establish a legitimate need to review.

This is not intended as legal advice. It is only provided for educational purposes and cannot be relied upon as legal advice. Further no attorney client relationship is or has been formed by answering this question.


The law is a complex and evolving combination of state and federal legislative enactments, administrative decisions, and court decisions. Differences of opinion are common. If you acted in reliance on advice that turns out to be incorrect, the ability to withdraw your plea will still depend on many factors, including but not limited to timeliness. For example, publicly wringing one's hands for several months on line without ever consulting post-conviction counsel in the real world is likely to be construed by an appellate court as failure to act in a timely fashion.

This answer is provided for general information only. No legal advice can be given without a consult as to the specifics of the case.

Karyn T. Missimer

Karyn T. Missimer


Avvo has taken away the ability to agree with questions after a certain period of time. So, now I have to comment to say "I agree." I agree.


You may be able to reopen the case by filing a motion with the court in which you were convicted. The judge must rule in your favor before the case will be reopened. This is not commonly done, but is not impossible. You must be able to articulate a compelling reason for reopening the case. Understand that the more time that has gone by since you were convicted, the more difficult it will be to get the court to agree to this.

In a situation where the witnesses have all had many months or years to have their memories of the events surrounding your criminal case fade or disappear completely, the prosecutor is not going to want to be put in a position to have to take your case to trial. The judge will not see this as a fair and just way to handle the case. Therefore, you will need a very compelling reason before the judge will agree to reopen the case.

This communication is for the purposes of general advice only. This communication does not form any contractual obligation on behalf of the Attorney Stephen W. Sawyer or the Law Offices of Stephen W. Sawyer.

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