Getting arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime can lead to a criminal record. Fortunately, records can be erased in Connecticut through expungement, which means you can honestly say that you never been involved in the criminal justice system once your record is expunged.
The following are the most common benefits of a Connecticut expungement:
- You don’t have to admit you were arrested or convicted with a crime – Having a criminal record can make it extremely difficult to gain employment. Employers often run background checks on all applicants, revealing if a person has been arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime. Additionally, most employers ask if an applicant has ever been convicted before. If your criminal record is expunged, you can lawfully answer “no” if asked.
- You can retain a state license – Professionals such as doctors, lawyers, and teachers need a state license to work. Each time you reapply for a state license, you must disclose any arrests or convictions on your application. Although you may still need to disclose a previous arrest or conviction with licensing agencies, they are more inclined to approve an applicant who has successfully completed probation and obtained an expungement.
- You can obtain housing – Landlords also conduct background checks on prospective tenants. A conviction on your criminal record can make it difficult to not only rent a property but also to live in a decent part of town. If you get your record expunged, you will have an easier time finding a place you want to live.
- You can apply to college – When teenagers and young adults commit crimes, arrests and convictions follow them for the rest of their lives. Having a criminal history can prevent you from getting accepted into your desired college or obtain a scholarship to cover tuition fees. When a criminal record is expunged, colleges cannot use negative information against you.
- Your reputation is at stake – Friends and family, as well as employers and coworkers, can easily check on another person’s criminal conviction. Getting your record expunged prevents others from learning of your past mistakes and make any assumptions about your character.
- You can breathe a sigh of relief – Simply knowing that you can honestly say that you have never been arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime provides ample peace of mind. You can freely do anything a regular citizen can do.
Remember, if you were charged but your case was dismissed or you were never found guilty, expungement is automatic. However, if you have been convicted, you must wait three years after a misdemeanor conviction, or the wait is five years for a felony conviction to seek an expungement pardon with the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles.