In Connecticut, the law offers certain people the chance to clear their names by enabling them to have their criminal records expunged. With an expungement, your official record will be fully erased, and it will no longer be available to employers, future landlords, or other individuals undertaking a background check on you.
The most appropriate way to understand whether you are eligible to have your records expunged is to consult a qualified CT expungement lawyer.
The Waiting Period before Applying for an Expungement
A person may not be granted an expungement until after a specific period following the conviction that they seek to have erased. The required waiting periods are as follows:
- Thirteen months after a person has had any criminal case “nolled”
- Three years from the date of a conviction for a misdemeanor
- Five years from the date of receiving a felony conviction
In case a person has had a previous expungement application denied and is interested in reapplying with the help of a skilled lawyer, they are required to wait for one year before filing another appeal. In some instances, the Board of Pardons may inform the applicant of a more prolonged waiting period between applications.
Eligibility of Expungement in Connecticut
Not every criminal conviction is eligible for expungement in Connecticut. Your eligibility for expungement will depend on the severity of the crime committed and whether it was a misdemeanor or felony conviction. Certain cases are eligible for expungement automatically, and an expungement application is not necessary.
The following are some cases that are automatically eligible for expungement:
- A case in which the defendant was charged with a crime, but the verdict was “not guilty”
- A case that the court dismissed
- A case in which the charges were nolled, and a minimum of 13 months have passed
- A case that was put on hold and a minimum of 13 months have passed without any disposition or any prosecution of the matter
In general, the records in the above cases will automatically be expunged without having to file an expungement application. In case they are not erased automatically, you can bring a petition in court and ask for it to be erased.
Expungement Pardon in CT
In the event that your case is not eligible for automatic expungement in any of the above categories, you may be able to seek an expungement pardon. The criminal history of individuals qualifying for such a release can be completely erased.
The following cases are eligible for expungement pardon:
- Misdemeanor convictions after three years from the date of the conviction
- Felony convictions after five years from the date of the conviction
The decision on whether you qualify for an expungement pardon depends on the judgment of the Connecticut Board of Pardons. The Board can decide to grant or deny a provisional or an absolute pardon. In case it is rejected, you will not be able to appeal to a higher agency, but you can apply again for the pardon at a later date. If the pardon is granted, your record will not be available for public view any longer.
All states do not allow felony convictions to be expunged, irrespective of the time that has elapsed. But fortunately, in CT, it is possible for residents to receive an expungement pardon.
Expungement in a Serious Conviction in Connecticut
A valid question in the minds of many people is whether they might be unable to get an expungement because they received a conviction for a violent or serious crime. A wide array of criminal convictions is eligible for expungement. The Board of Pardons and Parole reviews the application in a comprehensive manner to understand whether you should get an expungement.
In case other factors are in your favor, it is possible to get a serious conviction erased from your record. For this reason, you should unhesitatingly discuss a possible expungement with a lawyer if you have been convicted for robbery, drug-related crimes, assault, gun offenses, or similar serious crimes. However, the conviction must be at the state level for the state court to be able to grant an expungement.
In case you are not granted an expungement, you may reapply in the future after a specific duration and rehabilitation.
Expungement of Your Criminal Record in Connecticut
People interested in having their record expunged will have to file a petition for erasure in court. To be able to have your record unavailable for public view, you will either need to file an absolute or a provisional pardon. Subsequently, the Connecticut Board of Pardons will reassess your case, and at their discretion, your petition can either be granted or denied.
At APEX Law Firm, our skilled criminal attorneys will work hard for you and try their best to ensure that your life is more comfortable. We have extensive experience in assisting clients in cases of expungement/erasure of their criminal record cases in Connecticut. For a no-charge case review, call today at (860) 900-0900 or fill out our free case evaluation form online.