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State v. Andrew J. Matasek, 2012AP1582, petition for review granted

Review of a published court of appeals decision; case activity

Issue:  Whether under § 973.015 the circuit court has the discretion to withhold its decision on expungement until after the defendant completes probation?

Wis. Stat. § 973.015 authorizes the circuit court to expunge the record of a defendant under the age of 25 in certain situations. Matasek says the statute gives the circuit court discretion to defer its expunction decision until after the offender successfully completes probation. The court of appeals rejected that interpretation in a published decision. It held instead that “the statute plainly and unambiguously directs courts to exercise their discretion in ordering expunction ‘at the time of sentencing[.]’” 2013 WI App 63, ¶9. Despite the statute’s “plain and unambiguous language,” circuit courts around the state follow a variety of different practices.  Hopefully, the supreme court will clear things up.

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