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Under The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Title 5 of the United States Code, section 552, any person has the right to request access to public records: criminal records, arrests & warrants, inmate records, vital records & more.

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How to Access Wisconsin Criminal Records

Wisconsin criminal records are made public in accordance with the Wisconsin statute 19.35(3). This makes Wisconsin an ‘open records’ state as well. While it is possible to view all records for adult criminals tried by the courts of the state, juvenile records are restricted, as the minors are not considered to be hardcore criminals beyond redemption. However, you can gain access to a specific Wisconsin criminal record if the juvenile offender was transferred to an adult court at some later date.

The CIB needs to process your request in such a case and you will not be permitted access to the record until the authorities clear it. Traffic violations form an exception as you can view them directly by accessing Wisconsin criminal records anytime. All licensed drivers over the age of 16 are treated as adults and are tried for non-criminal traffic violations under the statute of the state.


Compiling Wisconsin Criminal Records


Wisconsin law requires the various law enforcement authorities including the police department to submit the fingerprint cards of the arrested offenders under section 165.84(1). This practice has been in effect from 1971 onward. It is an important factor as far as the authenticity of the Wisconsin public criminal records is concerned. Since any arrests made without a supporting fingerprint card submission are not included in the database, you are liable to get records for offenders who can be traced by the enforcement authorities if so required.

While you can search the official database for Wisconsin criminal records by accessing , the service is not completely free of charge. The search usually costs $13 with the amount being reduced to $7 for both non-profit as well as governmental agencies. The charge does not depend on the results and you are required to pay it even if a ‘no results found’ message is displayed. Requests for information pertaining to the criminal records are also received by the department. The Wisconsin Department of Justice can be contacted on all working days at 608-266-1221.

Court Records


The official site of the Wisconsin court system ( also offers the option to search through the database of Wisconsin criminal records. This system was made available to the general public in April of 1999 for the very first time. You can get all relevant details by conducting a proper online search.

Details of criminal cases returned by an online search also show traffic or ordinance violation cases with the entire history of charges being displayed against the name of offender. Clicking on the link ‘court record events’ will enable you to view all dates including case filing dates, hearing dates as well as dates for petitions, pleadings and court appearances. The information disclosed may vary from county to county as the information is uploaded directly by the authorities of the individual county courts.

However, you are free to contact the Clerk of the county courts if you want additional information about a particular criminal case. The names as well as the contact addresses including the phone numbers of the county clerks are available at .



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