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