There are two types of pardons available in Connecticut — an absolute pardon and a certificate of employability. Absolute pardons are also known as full pardons, expungement, and erasure. When an individual receives a full pardon, their entire Connecticut adult criminal record becomes erased. Criminal convictions can negatively impact your life in several different ways, as more and more people and agencies conduct background checks. If you have a criminal record, it could affect your employment opportunities, educational opportunities, and housing opportunities. Seeking a pardon can help you get a fresh start in life. The Connecticut pardon process is not always easy, but the benefits of obtaining a pardon are extensive.
Connecticut Pardon Eligibility
The first step in seeking a pardon in Connecticut is to find out if you are eligible for one or not. Certain crimes are pardonable, and some that are not. Typically, the more serious the criminal offense, the more challenging it is to receive a full pardon. However, it is always worth looking into getting a pardon. The Connecticut Board of Pardons and Parole evaluates every individual pardon application on a case-by-case basis. Your lawyer can help you present a strong application for a pardon.
You will need to wait to apply for a pardon. If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor offense, you will need to wait three years from the date of your conviction to apply for your pardon. If you have been convicted of a felony offense, you will need to wait five years from your conviction date. The waiting period applies to an individual’s most recent criminal conviction. If you are facing current criminal charges or are still incarcerated, you will not be eligible for a pardon.
Multiple Convictions and Pardons
Many of our clients asked what will happen if they have multiple criminal convictions on their record. You will not be able to pick which convictions you would like to be pardoned. When you apply for a pardon, you must request the pardon or erasure of your entire criminal record. For example, if you have a misdemeanor charge and a felony charge, you will need to request a pardon for both charges, even though the parole board will be less likely to pardon your felony charge.
Expungement pardons are also known as full pardons, and they erase your complete criminal record. After an expungement pardon, no one will discover your past criminal convictions through a background check or by investigating public records. For example, if an employer runs a background check on you, none of your criminal convictions or criminal history will show up. The Connecticut Board of Pardons and Parole could Grant a full pardon or base the full pardon on certain conditions that you will need to meet. If you do not need these conditions, the board has the right to revoke your pardon.
Provisional pardons in Connecticut are referred to as a Certificate of Employability. These pardons are not full pardons. They do not erase your full criminal record. Instead, they show that the board determined that you are employable. As a result, your future employers may not take your criminal record into account when deciding whether to hire you. While provisional pardons are not as desirable as expungement or full pardons, securing what can help you support yourself and earn a living.
A recent law gives Connecticut residents the option to seek an expedited pardon. Through the expedited pardon process, the board May Grant a full pardon without requiring a hearing. Applicants need only submit their written application, and the board will decide whether or not to grant an expedited pardon. Expedited parents are only available for those convicted of nonviolent offenses when no other victims have an interest in the pardon.
The Pardon Application Process
The application process for securing a pardon in Connecticut is complicated. Applicants need to follow all instructions and submit all of the required documents necessary. Any errors, misrepresentation, or failure to submit all of the required documents can lead to a denial of your application. You will need to provide all of the following information, in detail, and your pardon application :
- All of your vocational training information
- Your educational background
- Your complete employment history
- A detailed account of all arrests, criminal charges, and convictions
- Any mental health treatment or substance abuse treatment you’ve undergone
- The specific reasons you are seeking a pardon
- Personal references
- Any contributions you have made to your community
- Examples that show that you have changed your life for the better
- Reasons the board should trust that you will not commit another crime if they grant the pardon
The Board Will Review Your Pardon Application
After the board receives your application, the support staff will review your application and ensure you meet the eligibility requirements and that your application is complete. If your application is incomplete, or you are not eligible, the staff will notify you that they will not be processing your application. If you are eligible, they will conduct a thorough background investigation and contact you to schedule a telephone interview. After they complete the background investigation and phone interview, the board will review your application. You will need to undergo a hearing regarding your pardon application.
You Need an Experienced Lawyer on Your Side
Successfully obtaining a pardon can change your life for the better. Many of our clients who receive pardons feel like they have a new lease on life, without the constant baggage of their criminal history hanging over their heads. The pardon process is incredibly complex, however.
When applying, you benefit from making your application stand out by showing how you have changed and how you are bettering yourself. The board wants to make sure that they only grant pardons to people who will not re-offend. The Red Law Firm provides skilled and experienced legal representation to those seeking a pardon in Connecticut. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.