Thanks for requesting me.
In Wisconsin, the only adult offenses that can be expunged are those that were first deferred. Some people don't realize that in order to get the dismissal off of your record you have to apply for an expungement
. So they stop after the deferral.
No, a deferral does not mean your crime never happened. It means your case was dismissed. An expungement means your crime never happened.
Regular employers cannot ask you if you've been arrested. They can only ask you about convictions. So if you have a deferral you can say no you have never been convicted of a crime. Government employers can ask you about whether you've ever been arrested. You would have to disclose the arrest.
A misdemeanor cannot be expunged in Wisconsin, meaning if you plead guilty to a misdemeanor you will have a criminal record
for the rest of your life. A theft offense, even on a misdemeanor level is the type of crime that employers run away from. With a theft conviction on your record, you will find it difficult to get a good job, and housing might also be a problem.
Nothing will clear your record totally. The government will always know what you've done.
An expungment will seal the record as to all regular employers who do background checks. Government employers will be able to find your offense, but they will know it was dismissed and then expunged.