A criminal conviction is a difficult thing to live with. Generally speaking, a criminal record is accessible to the general public, meaning that anyone with sufficient curiosity about your past can learn about an embarrassing or questionable chapter in your life if you have ever been convicted of a crime. Fortunately for people with criminal records, however, Connecticut law recognizes that there are circumstances under which a criminal record can be expunged and had created a process through which individual with criminal records can obtain these pardons.
Obtaining a pardon clears your entire criminal record, making it inaccessible to most parties and also allowing you to legally say that you have never been convicted of a crime. The process of obtaining a pardon can be complicated, however, so if you are considering pursuing one, you should speak to a Connecticut pardons attorney as soon as possible.
Waiting Period for Pardon Applications
If you have been convicted of a crime, you probably are interested in obtaining a pardon immediately. Unfortunately, this is generally not possible, as Connecticut law imposes a mandatory waiting period before the Board of Pardons and Parole will even consider your application. Specifically, the law requires you to wait 3 years after a misdemeanor conviction and 5 years after a felony conviction before you can pursue a pardon.
You Should Start Thinking About a Pardon Long Before the Waiting Period Is Up
While you may not be able to pursue a pardon immediately after a conviction, it is never too early to start preparing for your pardon application when you are able to request one. When you are pursuing a pardon, the Board conducts a comprehensive review of your character and the way you have lived your life since your conviction.
Importantly, it may not be enough to stay out of trouble after a conviction to have your pardon application approved – you need to demonstrate that you have learned from your past mistakes and are taking steps to live a better life. As a result, there are certain things that you can do before applying for a pardon that will improve your chances of obtaining one. The exact things you can do depend largely on the underlying offense of which you were convicted, but they commonly include the following:
- Substance abuse treatment or monitoring
- Anger management counseling
- Maintaining a steady job
- Contributions to your community
- Developed relationships with trusted individuals who can provide personal references
- Gaining additional education or vocational training
Each case is different, and the advice of an attorney familiar with the pardons process in Connecticut as early as possible can help you maximize your chances of having your application approved by the Board.
Find Out How Our Experienced Connecticut Pardons Lawyers Can Help You Today
If you have been convicted of a crime in the state of Connecticut, you should discuss your options with a Connecticut pardons lawyer at Koffsky & Felsen, LLC as soon as you can. Having your criminal record erased can have a positive impact on every aspect of your life, from your professional opportunities to your self-esteem. To schedule a consultation with an attorney familiar with Connecticut expungement law, call our office today at 203-327-1500 or email through our online contact form.