It is understandable why so many people want to apply for a pardon to erase their criminal records in Connecticut. Obtaining a pardon can help you escape past mistakes and move forward with increased employment, housing, and educational opportunities. However, not just anyone will be granted a pardon. Instead, there is a specific application process and each application is carefully reviewed by the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Parole. Not every applicant receives the same level of review and scrutiny though, and the following is more information about how the Board reviews pardon applications.
The initial stage of review is simply to determine whether an applicant is even eligible to apply for a pardon. Specifically, the Board will examine whether enough time has passed since the applicant’s last conviction, which is five years for a felony offense and three years for a misdemeanor offense. In addition, the Board will review if the applicant has had any recent criminal charges or arrests. This initial review can weed out many applications and passes eligible applications onto for the next level of review.
Review Without a Hearing
In some instances, the Board may conduct an administrative review of your application and will not conduct a hearing to make a final decision. One such situation that warrants an administrative review only is if you qualify for the expedited pardon process recently introduced in Connecticut. This process is available for those who had convictions for offenses with no known victim interest that were nonviolent. In addition, you may qualify for an administrative review under other circumstances set out by Connecticut law.
Review with a hearing
If you do not qualify for an administrative review only, you will have a hearing scheduled. Before the hearing, the Board will screen your application along with all others that will be involved in your same hearing. These hearings are open to the public and there may be parties present that are fighting against your pardon, such as the State’s Attorney who prosecuted your case or any victims and their families. How you present yourself and what you say at your hearing is key to having a pardon granted, so you should always be represented by an experienced legal professional who has successfully handled pardon cases.
No matter how many levels of review your application requires, the guidance of a pardons attorney who is familiar with the process in Connecticut is critical. You should never take the process lightly because of the importance a pardon can have on your life.
Contact a Connecticut Pardons Attorney for More Information Today
The experienced pardon attorneys at Koffsky & Felsen, LLC know that each pardon case is different and may involve a different process of review. We provide personalized representation based on your specific circumstances so you have the best possible chance of success. If you are wondering about the possibility of obtaining a pardon, please call our office at 203-327-1500 for help today.