About Connecticut’s Expedited Pardon Process
An expungement legally erases your criminal record. In July 2016, Connecticut courts created a new process for individuals to seek expungements from the Board of Pardons.
The Board will consider your request for a pardon without a hearing if you meet certain qualifications :
- Your conviction was a non-violent offense
- Your conviction had no “victim interest”
The Sills Law Firm can help you expunge your criminal record if you qualify. Backed by decades of combined experience with the criminal justice system, our Connecticut expungement attorneys can help you get a fresh start and move forward with your life unencumbered by past mistakes. Our Connecticut expungement lawyers offer two central office locations in Hartford and Waterbury for your convenience.
READY TO START THE PROCESS? CONTACT OUR OFFICE FOR A FREE CONSULTATION.
– Call us today at (860) 524-8118.
Full Pardon and Certificate of Employability
A full pardon (also called an “absolute pardon”) erases your criminal record completely . If you have multiple convictions, you must apply to expunge all of them. You cannot apply to pardon only one offense, but in some cases, the Board will grant conditional full pardons.
On the other hand, a certificate of employability does not erase your criminal record; it simply means employers cannot deny you a job because of your crime . This is different from a pardon because it doesn’t actually seal your record. When you apply for a full pardon, the Board of Certificate of Employability may consider your application as well.
Eligibility requirements for pardons and certificates of employability:
- You successfully completed your sentence
- You are not on probation or parole (under supervision)
- Your last misdemeanor conviction was at least three (3) years ago
- Your last felony conviction was at least five (5) years ago 
- Your conviction did not involve a violent crime or the interests of a victim
Reasons to Get a Certificate of Employability
A certificate of employability keeps your criminal record from influencing future job prospects. In other words, potential employers cannot look at you differently than other applicants because you were convicted of a crime. It also allows you to apply for professional licenses that your record would otherwise keep you from getting or force you to forfeit.
Differences Between Clemency & Expungement
Unlike expungement, clemency is for persons currently serving time for a criminal conviction. (If you are currently serving your sentence, you cannot apply for a full pardon.)
What can clemency do?
- Releases you from your obligation to the sentence
- Overwrites the death penalty, if applicable
- Reduces the terms of your sentence
- Erases convictions from your Connecticut criminal record
If your sentence is less than eight (8) years long, you can apply for clemency once you’ve served 50% of it. If your sentence is more than eight years, you can apply for clemency after four (4) years.
How Long Do You Have to Wait to Get Your Record Expunged in Connecticut?
Under Connecticut law, you may be able to have your criminal record erased – or expunged – through the pardon process. To qualify, you must first meet the eligibility requirements for expungement. This includes waiting a set amount of time to apply for a pardon.
These time periods are based on your underlying criminal record. Specifically, you must wait:
- 5 years from the date of a felony conviction
- 3 years from the date of a misdemeanor conviction
If your case was nolled (the prosecutor decides to drop your case without dismissing the charges against you), then the record will automatically be erased within 13 months of the date that this occurred.
Importantly, if you previously applied for an expungement and were denied, you must wait an additional year to file a new application. To avoid this additional wait time, you can maximize the possibility of having a pardon granted by working with a Connecticut expungement lawyer.
How Do You Get Your Record Expunged in CT?
There are four main steps in having your record expunged in CT:
- Determine if you are eligible for expungement (pardon).
- Gather the documents needed for the pardon.
- Complete and file an Application for a Connecticut Absolute Pardon.
- Schedule and attend a hearing with the CT Board of Pardons (if necessary).
Within each step, there are a number of things that you must do. This includes requesting documents from government agencies, filling out additional forms, and asking others to provide a character reference for you. You can also submit additional evidence that you may want the Board to consider.
The CT pardon process can be confusing, and there is a possibility that your request for a pardon will be denied if you forget to include a document or fail to disclose a critical piece of information. A Connecticut expungement lawyer can work with you to help ensure that the paperwork is completed properly so that you can move forward with your life.
How Long Does a Pardon Take in Connecticut?
There are a lot of benefits to getting a pardon. If you qualify, then a pardon will completely clear your criminal history – as though it never happened. This process can take time, however – often as long as a year.
For many people, it will take as long as 12 to 18 months to gather the appropriate paperwork, fill out and file the required forms, and then schedule a hearing with the Board of Pardons. If your pardon is granted, then it will be on a temporary (conditional) basis. The Board will then issue a full pardon within 8 to 10 months.
However, if you qualify, you may be able to reduce the time that it takes to get a pardon with the expedited pardon process. This allows you to have your record expunged without a hearing with the Board of Pardons. A criminal defense lawyer in CT can advise you of your eligibility for this option, and help you through the process.
Discuss Your Options with The Sills Law Firm
Our Connecticut criminal defense lawyers have served clients throughout the state for more than 20+ collective years. Over the years, we’ve helped countless people stand up for their rights. Additionally, our lawyers are considered leaders in the field and have written books on criminal and DUI defense, now found in law schools. Today, we’re ready to use this experience to help you.
For more information on expungement, pardons, and clemency, schedule a free and confidential case review with a member of our team. Contact us today!