Have you found yourself unable to get a job because of a mistake you made years ago? Has your criminal record affected your personal life and self-esteem? Have you been turned down for an apartment or do you have higher insurance rates because you checked “yes” when asked whether you’ve been convicted of a crime? If any of these scenarios sound familiar, you should discuss expungement with an attorney as soon as possible.
Here are some answers to several of the most frequently asked questions about expungement:
What Is Expungement?
Expungement is the process through which a person’s criminal record is erased. Technically speaking, Connecticut law offers various types of “pardons” to people who were convicted of a crime, and this is what’s usually thought of as an “expungement.”
There are three types of categories allowed by the Connecticut Pardons Board:
An Absolute Pardon – An absolute (or full) pardon is what many people refer to as an expungement. If your full pardon is granted, your criminal record is erased.
A Conditional Pardon – A conditional pardon is a full pardon to which the Pardons Board has attached a condition or conditions. If you don’t abide by the condition(s) attached to the pardon, the pardon can be revoked.
A Certificate of Employability – A Certificate of Employability, also called a provisional pardon, makes it illegal for an employer to deny you employment based on your criminal record alone and indicates that you’re suitable to hold certain types of licenses.
Can I Get an Expungement?
You can apply for an expungement three years after the date of a misdemeanor conviction and five years from the date of any felony conviction. When you apply for an expungement, you’re applying to have your entire criminal record expunged, not just a specific offense. You will not be considered for an expungement if you have a pending criminal matter in Connecticut or any other jurisdiction.
What is an expedited pardon?
Connecticut law was updated in 2015 to allow qualifying individuals to expedite the expungement/pardon process by eliminating the need for a hearing in front of the Board of Pardons and Parole. You may qualify for an expedited pardon based on a written application only if your offense was nonviolent and no victims have an interest in your pardon.
What Factors Does the Board Consider When Deciding Whether to Grant an Expungement or other Type of Pardon?
The Pardons Board has significant discretion when deciding whether to grant a pardon, and it considers a number of factors when making a decision, including the following:
- Evidence of rehabilitation
- The severity of the offense
- The impact of the offense upon the victim and the victim’s input
- Past criminal history and the amount of time that has passed since the most recent offense
- Whether granting a pardon serves the public interest
- The opinion of the state’s attorney
Do I Need a Lawyer to Apply for an Expungement or Pardon?
There is no requirement that individuals seeking an expungement must do so with the assistance of an attorney. However, there are many ways an attorney can maximize your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome to your request. These include the following:
- An attorney will ensure that your application is complete and accurate
- Your attorney will represent you if you’re required to appear at a hearing
- A lawyer can help you identify, collect, and submit evidence of rehabilitation with your application.
Call Koffsky & Felsen, LLC to Discuss Your Case with a Connecticut Expungement Attorney Today
Don’t let a criminal record hold you back anymore. At Koffsky & Felsen, LLC, we will review your case and determine whether you’re eligible to have your criminal record expunged, and we will help you every step of the way. To schedule a consultation with a Connecticut expungement lawyer, call our office today at 203-327-1500 or send us an email through our online contact form.