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Sentencing Guidelines – Probation

WI Supreme Court

Case Name: State of Wisconsin v. Jordan Alexander Lickes

Case No.: 2021 WI 60

Focus: Sentencing Guidelines – Probation

Jordan Lickes seeks review of the court of appeals decision, which reversed the Green County Circuit Court’s order expunging three of Lickes’s convictions. Pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 973.015(1m)(a) (2017-18), for individuals under the age of 25 at the time of an offense, a court “may order at the time of sentencing that [the individual’s] record be expunged upon successful completion of the sentence[.]” If the individual is placed on probation, § 973.015(1m)(b) provides that he “has successfully completed the sentence if . . . [he] has satisfied the conditions of probation,” among other things.

Lickes raises two principal issues. First, Lickes contends that the phrase “conditions of probation” under Wis. Stat. § 973.015(1m)(b) does not refer to the conditions set by the Department of Corrections (DOC) but only those conditions ordered by the sentencing court. According to Lickes, he did not need to satisfy DOC’s conditions of probation in order for the circuit court to expunge all three of his convictions. Second, Lickes argues that, even if the phrase “conditions of probation” includes conditions set by DOC, circuit courts nonetheless have discretion to determine that an individual “satisfied [his] conditions of probation” despite having violated one or more conditions.

We hold: (1) the phrase “conditions of probation” in Wis. Stat. § 973.015(1m)(b) means conditions set by both DOC and the sentencing court; and (2) the statute does not give circuit courts discretionary authority to declare an individual has “satisfied [his] conditions of probation” if the record demonstrates an individual has violated one or more “conditions of probation,” including DOC-imposed conditions. The circuit court erred in expunging Lickes’s three convictions because he failed to satisfy DOC’s “conditions of probation” for all three convictions. We affirm the decision of the court of appeals.

Affirmed

Concur:

Dissent: ANN WALSH BRADLEY, J., filed a dissenting opinion in which DALLET, J., joined.

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Derek A Hawkins is Corporate Counsel, at Salesforce.

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