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Milwaukee, WI pardon application lawyerOne of recently elected Governor Evers’ campaign promises was to address pardons in the state of Wisconsin. A pardon is similar to an expungement in that it grants a second chance to individuals who have been convicted of a crime. Having a record expunged removes the offense completely from a person’s criminal record. Pardons do not have this same power, but they do give back some of the rights that are taken away from citizens after receiving a criminal conviction. If granted a pardon, an individual can once again own a gun, vote, be on a jury, hold public office, and hold various licenses that they were not eligible for as a convicted felon. While an offense may still appear in background checks, having it pardoned can help a person put a better foot forward when seeking employment opportunities.

Governor Evers recently recreated the nine-member Pardon Advisory Board to address the thousands of pardon requests that have not been attended to. Before Evers came into office, Governor Scott Walker put the pardon process to a stop in 2011. According to The Washington Post, the Governor Evers’ office has already received requests from 1,600 individuals regarding pardons.

How Can I Get a Pardon?

Pardons have a required application process that must be completed and sent to the governor’s office. There are four requirements that must be met for a person to be considered for a pardon:


Milwaukee criminal lawyers for expungementUnder Wisconsin law, expungement means “to strike or obliterate from the record all references to the defendant’s name and identity.” In other words, this removes a person’s criminal past from their record. The purpose of this is to give individuals a second chance. A criminal record can follow someone for the rest of their life, especially since online tools are available that allow anyone to research a person’s background. Websites such as Wisconsin Circuit Court Access allow users to search names and find people’s criminal records, and this can affect a person’s ability to find a job, obtain housing, or apply for education, and it can also impact someone’s personal reputation and relationships. Many advocates are calling for reform of Wisconsin’s expungement system to reduce the negative repercussions faced by people who have served a criminal sentence.

The Current Expungement Law

At this time, expungement in Wisconsin is limited based on the age of the offender and the form of request. A person must be under the age of 25 at the time the offense was committed to be able to request expungement. In addition, the violation of the law that was allegedly committed must have a maximum sentence of six years of imprisonment and must be a misdemeanor or “minor nonviolent first felony.” Under the current law, expungement must also be requested at the time of sentencing. This request must be approved by the judge, and full completion of the sentence is required before a person’s record can be expunged.

The Proposed Expungement Bill

The purpose of expungement is to give a fresh start to those who have made a mistake. However, the current law has an age cap for those who are allowed to benefit from expungement. A bill which is currently being considered by the Wisconsin legislature focuses on trying to make expungement more accessible for those who have committed low-level offenses. If the new law is passed, expungement will not be exclusively available to those who are under the age of 25 at the time the offense was committed. The bill would also allow a longer time frame for expungement requests. Rather than requiring requests for expungement to be made at the time of sentencing, the law would permit requests to be made at a later date as long as a person has completed their sentence.


Milwaukee pardons lawyerWith Governor Tony Evers in office, many people in Wisconsin are excited that pardons will be available once again. Unfortunately, the process of granting pardons to Wisconsin residents has gotten off to a slow start. Governor Evers, who promised during the campaign to issue pardons, said that he is “disappointed” that his administration has not set up the Pardon Advisory Board nearly four months into his term.

The Pardon Advisory Board will be made up of about 15 people who will review applications from felons and make recommendations to the governor. Gov. Evers said that he has a team of three lawyers who are working to revive the pardons review board and is hopeful that the Pardon Advisory Board will be operational by summer. Evers explained that his lawyers have not had enough time to resolve this pardon issue because they have been busy focusing on legal challenges to the lame-duck legislative session Republicans started in December.

Despite these challenges, Governor Evers said that forming the Pardon Advisory Board was “exceedingly important” and that it would be his “top priority.” Evers made these statements while campaigning with residents from all over Wisconsin -- not just the urban areas -- who made it clear that they were interested in allowing for the consideration of pardons.


After receiving overwhelming support from both Republicans and Democrats, Wisconsin lawmakers have continued to push for legislation that would allow more people to seek expungement. The bill is called the “Pathways to Employment,” a title that illustrates the purpose behind the proposed law: to help former non-violent offenders transition from prison into the workforce. The Pathways to Employment bill is designed to provide persons convicted of lower-level crimes with a second chance at life and also seeks to reduce Wisconsin’s labor shortage.

Expungement involves a person petitioning to have his or her criminal convictions expunged, or cleared from the public court record. Because a criminal record can hinder a person’s ability to secure housing, employment, financial aid, and other opportunities that require a background check, this new expungement law truly provides people with a second chance. Since the Pathways to Employment bill passed at the committee level with bipartisan support in both chambers, supporters believe that this bill will soon become law. A full vote to determine whether this expungement bill will become law is scheduled to take place in May. 

Who Would Qualify for Expungement Under the New Law?

The proposed Pathways to Employment expungement law will apply to non-violent, lower-level offenders charged with Class H felonies and below. Under current Wisconsin law, only defendants under the age of 25 can receive an expungement and in addition, the expungement must be ordered at the time of sentencing. Critics of the current expungement system complain that Wisconsin’s expungement laws are “illogical.” Critics explain that under current law, a judge is prohibited from addressing expungement post-sentence, a time when an offender’s rehabilitation is more apparent. Today, many Wisconsin residents are missing out on valuable employment opportunities because they have a non-violent criminal conviction hanging over their head.  


Milwaukee drone privacy violation attorneyDrones have become popular in several industries and among personal users. As such, Wisconsin has passed laws prohibiting certain acts involving drones. This is an emerging area of law, and ignorance of the law is not a defense to criminal charges. If you use a drone or are considering using a drone, you should educate yourself on drone laws.

What Is a Drone? How Are They Used?

Under Wisconsin law, a drone is defined as an aircraft operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft. The number of drones purchased each year continues to increase as drone technology and utility improves. In January 2018, more than one million drones were registered with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Drones can be used in many ways, including:

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