Many individuals who have been convicted of a state criminal offense in Connecticut have obtained relief from the collateral consequences of a conviction by applying for a pardon. You can obtain a full pardon and erasure of your criminal record (also called an expungement), or you can be approved to have your information erased with certain conditions attached. The Board of Pardons can also decide to not grant your pardon but grant you a Certificate of Employability so you can obtain partial relief.
There is no telling whether you will be successful in your efforts to have your criminal record pardoned by the state of Connecticut; however, it is always worth a try. The applications process is complex, and having the guidance of an experienced CT expungement and pardons attorney can increase your chances of successfully erasing your criminal record.
Statistics regarding pardon applications
The Board of Pardons publishes statistics1 regarding the percentages of pardon applications that are received, granted, and denied in Connecticut each year. The following numbers from 2016 can give you a better idea of your chances of obtaining an expungement:
- Applications filed: 1,555
- Applications granted: 773
- Applications denied: 469
- Applications pending: 309
In total, 62 percent of applications were granted, resulting in 672 full pardons and 101 Certificates of Employability. As you can see, the majority of applicants received their pardons last year, so you should never assume that you must live with your criminal record for the rest of your life.
Connecticut pardon applications can be complicated
You should not take the approval rate for pardons to mean that the application process is easy, however. Pardon applications can be extremely complicated, and any error or omission can result in a denial of your pardon, which means you will have to wait at least a year to apply again. While you can find the Connecticut pardon application online,2 it is always wise to have a lawyer who understands the application process help you complete your application.
In order to complete your application, you must include the following:
- All felonies, misdemeanors, and violations of which you have been convicted in Connecticut, including dates and details
- Explanations for your criminal convictions
- Police incident reports for every convicted offense within the past ten years
- A fingerprint card for a background check
- Questionnaire forms completed by individuals serving as character references
If you omit any required information about your past convictions, it can result in a denial. Even if an omission or inaccuracy does not trigger an automatic denial, it can have an effect on how the Board of Pardons views your application.
The Board considers many factors when it reviews each application, including the nature of your offenses, the time that has passed, your rehabilitation, employment, and other accomplishments, and more. If you appear to have turned in an incomplete application or the board suspects you have omitted information intentionally or lied, it can affect the board’s opinion of your character and can lead them to deny your application.
The board can grant or deny your application during a prescreening process, or it can request that you be present for a hearing. It is critical to have legal representation during the hearing to guide you through the process.
Discuss the possibility of a pardon with our Connecticut criminal defense attorneys today
Too many people in Connecticut mistakenly believe that they must continue to live with the consequences of a criminal conviction their entire lives. Instead, you should contact Koffsky & Felsen, LLC today to speak with our team of Connecticut pardon attorneys regarding your rights and options. We understand the pardons process, so please call our office at 203-327-1500 to discuss your pardon or expungement as soon as possible.