There are two types of pardons. The first one is called an expungement pardon. This type of pardon erases all criminal offenses on your criminal record database.
The second type is called a provisional pardon. This type of pardon does not remove your criminal history from the database, but it does make it illegal for an employer to not hire you based solely on your criminal history.
In order to apply for a pardon a certain amount of years must pass before submitting your application. You must wait five years from the date of your felony conviction, and you must wait three years from the date of your misdemeanor conviction.
The application for a pardon is located on the official state Department of Corrections website at www.ct.gov/doc/bopp or you can reach the Board of Pardons and Paroles’ over the phone.
Once you submit your application, the waiting period is approximately twelve months. The Board of Pardons and Paroles’, the state police and the justice department will review the application and the criminal record of the applicant before making a decision. Most applications receive a review on a first come, first serve basis.
You must list all offenses you have committed in your lifetime. You can request your state police criminal history sheet, however, this will only list convictions within the state of Connecticut. The state police criminal history sheet will not list federal or out of state charges, non-finger printed convictions, DUI/DWI charges and reckless driving charges.
Even if your state police criminal history sheet does not list these other offenses, it is your responsibility to include all offenses in your application, including misdemeanors and infractions. The Board can deny an application if any information is omitted.
You must submit all police reports for each offense if the arrest took place in the last ten years.
You are not required to be represented by an attorney to submit your application, however, having an attorney can significantly help in the process. Your attorney can assist with collecting police reports, criminal history reports, preparing your packet, and filling out your application.
If you are granted a pardon hearing, having an attorney represent you can greatly help prepare you to speak at the hearing, show that you are the most prepared applicant, and make the pardon process overall less overwhelming.
There are several elements the Board considers when granting a pardon. These elements include:
The Board strongly encourages the last two elements and urges the applicant to include these activities on their application.
The process is dependent on your eligibility and how suitable you are to receive a pardon based on the above elements. If you are denied, there is no way to predict your outcome the second time around and there is no guarantee your application will ever be accepted.
That being said, if you are denied and wish to reapply, you are able to as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements. It is highly suggested to retain an attorney if you have already been denied once; they can help you better prepare the second time.
You must wait at least one year before reapplying. However, the Board sometimes requires you to wait longer. In the denial letter, the Board will indicate the appropriate waiting period before you can reapply.
NOTE: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice