A criminal conviction does not have to define your life indefinitely. Many people finish their probation or jail sentences, pay their dues, and move on living their lives in an honest and lawful manner. However, having a criminal record can cause many challenges in your life, including with employment, education, or housing opportunities, and it is understandable that you are tired of a criminal case from long ago still having an impact on your life.
You do not have to be defined by your past mistakes, and Connecticut law1 gives certain individuals the opportunity to clear their names by having their criminal records expunged. An expungement means that your official record will be completely erased and will no longer be discoverable by future landlords, employers, or other people performing a background check on you. While the best way to know if you may be eligible for an expungement of your record is to consult with an experienced CT expungement attorney, what follows is some information regarding the process and criteria.
Waiting period to apply for an expungement
You may not be granted an expungement until a certain period of time has passed since the conviction that you wish to have erased. The following are the required waiting periods:
- Five years from the date of a felony conviction
- Three years from the date of a misdemeanor conviction
- Thirteen months after you had any criminal case “nolled”
If you have had a prior expungement application denied and would like to apply again with the help of an experienced attorney, you must wait one year to file another application. In some situations, the Board of Pardons may inform you of a longer waiting period between applications.
Other eligibility criteria in CT
Many people wonder if they might be ineligible for an expungement because they were convicted of a serious or violent crime. Expungements are available for a wide range of criminal convictions, and the Board of Pardons and Parole2 will review your application as a whole to determine whether you should receive an expungement. It is possible to obtain an expungement of a serious conviction if other factors weigh in your favor. Therefore, you should not hesitate to discuss a possible expungement with an attorney if you have convictions for assault, robbery, drug crimes, gun offenses, or similar state crimes. The conviction does have to be at the state level for the state court to expunge the record, however.
One factor that will prevent you from expunging a conviction is if you have been convicted of a subsequent crime since that conviction or if you have a criminal case currently pending. If you apply for an expungement and then get charged with a crime, you must inform the Board of Pardons immediately, which can cause your application to be denied.
What if my expungement is not granted?
If an expungement is not granted, you may try to apply again in the future after some time has passed and rehabilitation has occurred. In addition, even if you do not receive an expungement, you may be eligible for other relief from your criminal record, such as a conditional pardon or Certificate of Employability.
Find out how our Connecticut state criminal defense and expungement attorneys can help you
At Koffsky & Felsen, LLC, we have witnessed firsthand how much an expungement can change a person’s life. You do not have to continue to live with restrictions and judgments; instead, discuss the expungement process with our qualified expungement and pardons attorneys today. Our legal team is here to help you move forward beyond a criminal conviction, so please do not delay in calling 203-327-1500 for more information today.