Civil Consequences of Conviction: The Impact of Criminal Records Under Wisconsin Law

Wisconsin State Public Defenders

(July 2017)
Wisconsin Civil Consequences of Conviction report cover

The impact of a criminal conviction is greater than a number of days in prison or a number of dollars fined. Thousands of federal, state, and local laws impose additional consequences on people convicted of crimes, many of which remain in effect far beyond any judicially-imposed sentence. Unlike incarceration and fines, however, these additional consequences are frequently unknown (at the time of the criminal prosecution) to attorneys, judges, and the individuals whose lives they profoundly affect.

The goal of this publication is to provide additional information about how a criminal conviction may affect the lives of an individual. The publication summarizes consequences that arise under Wisconsin law and federal law, yet are not included in the sentence imposed by a judge in a criminal case. The scope of these consequences demonstrates the major impacts on the affected individuals, and indirectly, upon their communities.

Note: This publication was finalized in July 2017. Subsequent changes to the law are not included.