In the United States, many people who are committed of crimes have the opportunity to be officially forgiven for their crimes by the government. This is formally called receiving a “pardon” from the government. On this page, I will discuss the basics of what a pardon is. This will help you determine if a pardon is right for you.
What is a Pardon?
After a certain amount of time has passed, convicted criminals have the opportunity to apply for a pardon from the government. A pardon will erase your criminal history. This means that when potential employers, schools you want to apply to, or colleagues ask if you have ever been arrested, you can say, “no.” If the party looks up your criminal history, they would see that you have not been arrested.
In some cases, a crime will automatically be pardoned or expunged in Connecticut under the Clean Slate Bill. However, family violence crimes and sexual assault crimes are not automatically pardoned. A pardon must be applied for.
Why Apply for a Pardon?
Many people wonder why they should take the time and money to apply for a pardon. The truth of the matter is that you have to disclose your criminal history to potential employers in some jobs, to the military, and to schools that you want to apply to. Having to say that you have been arrested could impact your ability to get a job or become accepted to a school or program. A pardon gives you the second chance that you deserve. You will get a clean slate. This can help you make a living, further your education, and feel confident in yourself.
Types of Pardons
There are two main types of pardons. They are the expungement pardon and the provisional pardon. An expungement pardon erases your entire criminal history. This means that you can honestly say you have never been arrested when asked. Your criminal record will be erased. A provisional pardon differs in that this type of pardon just expresses to a potential employer that you are employable, despite your past actions. It is illegal for an employer to deny you employment based solely on your criminal history. Most people apply for expungement or full pardons. These types of pardons allow more opportunities if granted.
You become eligible for an expungement pardon, also known as an absolute pardon, once a certain amount of time has passed. Five years need to pass since the date of conviction of any felonies you committed. In addition, you cannot be on probation or parole when you apply for a pardon. You also can’t have a nolle in the past thirteen months.
It is also important to keep in mind that if you have a prison sentence of eight or more years, you have to serve at least four years before you can apply for a pardon. For prison sentences that are less than eight years, you have to serve at least half of your sentence before you can apply for a pardon.
If you are just applying for a provisional pardon, you can apply any time after your conviction.
Just because you are eligible for a pardon does not mean that one will be granted to you. Some people are more suitable for pardons than others, depending on what you have done with your life after conviction. It is important to discuss your particular situation with a lawyer who is familiar with representing clients seeking pardons to see if you are suitable for a pardon or not. A pardons lawyer can also help you become suitable for a pardon if you are not currently a good candidate.
I would love to answer any questions that you have about the Connecticut pardon. Contact my office for more information!