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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4502
Experience:  Almost 12 years of legal experience, primarily in criminal law
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The state of the conviction was Wisconsin, I through my PD

Customer Question

the state of the conviction was Wisconsin, I through my PD plead guilty to a disorderly conduct. It was a domestic with a charge of battery.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 1 year ago.

Hello.

So that I can best help you, what is it that you want to know? I got the background facts about your conviction.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
how to have this criminal record removed. I work outside the US and need to show a clear criminal record to secure my work visa. Without that I am unemployed and have no chance at a good income. Also it is preventing me from seeking my PhD in China or even a immigration permit should my girlfriend and I decide to marry there.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have been told that the only way was to have the case reopened and then dismissed. I guess I was just looking for a format for that. I have successfully completed my first year of law school before my divorce, but am not confident in writing motions in this matter.
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 1 year ago.

Were you under 25 at the time of the conviction? How long ago was this?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was only about 19 when this occurred. I have since had no other major issues with the law and have in fact gone on and earned two Masters Degrees and have been teaching overseas. My criminal record though prevents me from getting my work visa and therefore removes my option to continue working overseas.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expungment and pardons do not clear that record. I was told the only way I could remove it was to have the case reopened and then dismissed, but am now being told that is not an option. So I am not sure how to get that off my record so that I can show a clear criminal record to get my work visa in China and other countries.
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 1 year ago.

Yes, unfortunately, the expungement would only have been available if the court had put it on the record at the time of your sentence. As you were under 25 and this was a relatively minor offense, I am surprised that your lawyer did not secure the prosecutor/court's agreement to proceed under that type of agreement, where it would have been expunged upon successful completion of the sentence. And you are correct...a pardon does not actually remove the conviction from your record in Wisconsin...it is simply a notation on your record that you have been officially pardoned. And regardless, ***** ***** has basically refused to consider pardons while he is in office so even if it were an option for you, you'd have to wait for a new governor to see any movement on an application.

As for a reopen and dismissal, there is not really a legal mechanism that allows that to happen. Some defendants have tried to petition to have their cases reopened using a Civil Procedure rule that allows for a case to be reopened but on review, the appellate courts have shut that down and noted that it applies only in civil cases. Even if it did apply, in terms of time limits, it has to be done within a year. The law just makes no provision for such an action in a criminal case in your situation. There are a few options to overturn convictions for people who are incarcerated, but even those are subject to strict time limitations.

I'm sorry I can't give you better news. It is just that Wisconsin is particularly limited in allowing someone to clear their record. The legislature would have to pass a more expansive expungement law like other states have in order to give you an opportunity to clear your record, but unfortunately, the law as it exists now does not provide that avenue for you.