By Attorney Brianna Meyer

One 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:

  1. The pardon is for a felony committed in the state of Wisconsin. 
  2. The applicant completed their sentence at least five years ago. This includes any form of confinement and supervision.
  3. The applicant has remained free of any additional criminal charges since completing their sentence, and they do not have any pending criminal charges. 
  4. The applicant is not registered as a Wisconsin sex offender. 

After the Pardon Advisory Board reviews the application and request, applicants that meet the eligibility requirements will be scheduled for a hearing before the board. During the hearing, applicants will talk about the crime committed and explain why they deserve a pardon. These explanations will usually include information about their current lifestyle in order to demonstrate how they have changed over the years and why they are deserving of a pardon.

Contact a Milwaukee Criminal Pardon Attorney

Now that the Pardon Advisory Board has been recreated, Wisconsin residents who have made mistakes in the past may now be able to receive a second chance. With the initiation of this board, the number of pardon requests in Wisconsin is likely to increase, and anyone who is seeking a pardon can improve their chances by securing professional legal representation. At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, we represent those who are looking for a fresh start. If you are seeking a pardon, contact our Milwaukee, WI criminal defense lawyers at [[phone]] to set up a consultation.


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