Being convicted of a crime is a serious matter that can have a lasting impact on your life. This is true for even relatively minor offenses, and the collateral professional or educational consequences of a conviction can far outlast any sentence imposed by the court. Fortunately, Connecticut law recognizes that people deserve second chances and allows people to obtain a pardon to clear their criminal records, a process often referred to as “expungement.”
At Koffsky & Felsen, LLC, we are committed to helping people move on with their lives after a criminal conviction and regularly work with individuals who are seeking a Connecticut expungement. We are qualified to advise individuals about how to maximize their chances of obtaining an expungement while they are waiting to apply. To learn more about the process and to discuss your situation with one of our experienced lawyers, call our office today at 203-327-1500 or contact us online.
Expungement Waiting Periods
Under Connecticut law, there’s a waiting period before a person becomes eligible for a pardon. The amount of time you need to wait before you are eligible depends on the severity of your most recent conviction. If you had a felony conviction, you cannot apply for five years after the date of the conviction. In cases of misdemeanors, you only need to wait for three years from that date.
You Can Take Steps to Maximize Your Chances of Clearing Your Record
As a person who has been convicted of a crime or who plans to accept a plea bargain in a pending case, it is important to understand that it is never too early to start thinking about your expungement application. The Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles has significant discretion when deciding whether to grant a pardon in a given case, and there are things you can do while waiting to be able to apply that will demonstrate that you deserve to have your criminal record expunged. Some of the factors the Board considers when deciding whether to grant a pardon include the following:
- The rehabilitation of the individual applying
- The severity of the offense or offenses
- The impact on the victim and the victim’s input
- The applicant’s past criminal history and the length of time that has passed since the most recent offense
- Whether the public interest is served by erasing a criminal record
- The opinion of the State’s Attorney
- The applicant’s work history
- Contact with the criminal justice system
- Character references
- Community service
- Any other pertinent information
As this list should make clear, the Board will thoroughly evaluate your background before granting a pardon. Of course, the things you can do to maximize your chances of having your record expunged depend to some extent on the underlying issues that result in your conviction. For example, if your criminal conduct was related to alcohol use, establishing proof of rehabilitation and sustained sobriety would likely increase your chances of having your application granted. Similarly, if you were convicted of an offense related to domestic violence, counseling and anger management classes may serve the same purpose. When you meet with a lawyer, she can advise about specific steps to take in your case.
Call Koffsky & Felsen, LLC to Speak with a Connecticut Expungement Lawyer Today
If you are facing criminal charges in Connecticut or have already been convicted of a crime, you should speak to an attorney as soon as you can. In many cases, an arrest does not need to lead to a conviction, and a conviction does not have to stay on your criminal record indefinitely. At Koffsky & Felsen, LLC, our team of experienced Connecticut expungement lawyers are available for a case consultation and will advise you regarding your legal options. Should you choose to retain us to represent you, we will do everything we can to ensure that your case is brought to the most favorable resolution possible.