There is a lot of advice online when it comes to applying for a pardon. Our office has worked with pardon applications in the past. Here is a list of our office’s five most important tips for applying for a pardon.
Research All of Your Options
A pardon may not be the best option for you. Make sure you research all of your options and choose the best one for your situation. Some alternatives might be filing for habeas corpus, getting an expungement, or having an expedited pard. If you have researched your options and are still unsure what to do, contact our office and we can discuss the best option for you.
Make Sure You are Eligible
If you are not eligible, then you should not waste your time applying. Hundreds of applications every year get denied because they are not eligible. Remember that under the Clean Slate Bill in Connecticut, most misdemeanors and felonies are automatically pardoned after several years since the conviction have passed. You should only apply for a pardon if you have been convicted of a family violence crime or a sexual assault crime.
Make sure that you fit these eligibility requirements before wasting time and money on a Connecticut pardon application.
Write a Personal Statement
Writing a personal statement is not required, but it is highly recommended. In the statement, you should include things that show you have made changes in your life. This is an introduction to your life since your conviction and all of the ways that you have sought a fresh start. For example you should include any community service, jobs, new responsibilities, education, rehabilitation, or anything that makes you look good. For more information on how to write a personal statement, check out our page, “Two Things to Consider Before Applying for a Connecticut Pardon.”
Pick the Right People for Your References
Asking at least two people to write references for you is a standard part of the pardon process in Connecticut. Make sure you pick people that know you well and will take their time and write a good letter when it comes to your references. Remember, only one reference can be from a family member. Other good options for people to write a pardon reference letter are an employer, a teacher, a mentor, a faith leader, a therapist, or a friend.
Check Your Social Media
The Board of Pardons could check your social media accounts. Make your accounts private and clear out anything that could be considered offensive or that you would not want the Board to see. It is not guaranteed that they will look at your social media, but it is a possibility, so it is better to censor your accounts just in case.
If you are interested in applying for a pardon or would like more information on hiring an attorney, feel free to call us or email us. We are happy to guide you through the pardon application and make this process as easy as possible for you.