A criminal conviction does not have to follow you for the rest of your life. Apply for a pardon and put the past in the past.
Everyone makes mistakes. Some mistakes are worse than others, but everyone deserves another chance. This is what a pardon can do for those convicted of crimes. When a pardon is granted, it erases a person’s criminal history, which can help when that person applies for jobs and moves on with their life. If you are trying to put the past behind you and searching for a fresh start, a applying for a pardon with a Connecticut expungement lawyer might be the answer.
The Pardon Process
All applications for pardons (also known as expungements) go to the Board of Pardons and Paroles. So, if you want to apply for the pardon, you should familiarize yourself with this Board and how it works.
The Board consists of twenty members appointed by the governor and has the authority to grant both partial and full pardons for any offense against the state under § 54-124a. Board of Pardons and Paroles. The governor cannot grant pardons – that job goes solely to the Board. If you are denied, the Board must give a written statement describing why you were rejected. Here at Ruane Attorneys, we have dedicated one of our attorneys for this process,
The Board must allow crime victims to testify at a session where the board will consider granting a pardon, reducing a prisoner’s sentence, or releasing them. The victim of an offender’s crime may make statements regarding release, sentence reduction, or pardon. The statements may be presented orally or in writing and must be made a part of the record.
Applying for a Pardon
While a pardon might sound like a great idea to you, you should first make sure that you are eligible before applying. You can read our other pages regarding pardons to learn about pardon eligibility as well as how to proceed with your pardon. If you need assistance with your pardon, we are happy to help!
The pardon process is different across the 50 states. Each state has its own type of administration, type of process, eligibility requirements, effect, and frequency of granting pardons. Knowing how the Connecticut process works is important because it is completely different than the way pardons work in other states.
Who Grants Connecticut Pardons?
First, the type of administration that has the authority to grant pardons is the Board of Pardons and Paroles in Connecticut. In other states, other entities can grant pardons. In Connecticut, the Board of Pardons is appointed by the governor. This is unlike many states, which give only the governor the power to review and grant pardons.
The Connecticut pardon process involves a public hearing held once every few months. These hearings are now held via video conference. At these public hearings, the applicant must be present. The Board can deny the pardon before it reaches the full hearing. Many states disregard a public hearing entirely, and allow for informal processes, paper review of the pardon application, or interviews with the applicant.
Eligibility, Effects, and Outcome
People in Connecticut are eligible to apply for a pardon five years post-conviction for a felony, and three years post-conviction for a misdemeanor. In other states, the eligibility varies and can be anything from no eligibility requirements to 10 years post-conviction.
The effect of a pardon in Connecticut actually erases the conviction, destroys all records of the conviction after three years in government databases, and pardoned misdemeanors can be sealed. A pardon in Connecticut is essentially the same as an expungement. You can go about your life, without having to admit to a criminal conviction, including job applications. Other states have variations of the effect in Connecticut, including not sealing any records, and restrictions on returning back to office, and other variations.
In Connecticut, pardons are granted frequently and regularly, especially because of the regular intervals of hearings. There are around 400 pardons granted annually, and more than half of those are for appellants with misdemeanors on their records. Connecticut is among only 12 other states in this country that grant pardons frequently and regularly. Out of those states, only one or two actually come close to or top Connecticut in the amount of pardons that it grants annually. Even Connecticut’s neighbor state, Rhode Island, has not granted a single pardon to a living person in several years. If you are a resident in Connecticut looking to apply for a pardon, you are in a very unique and favorable position.
Call a Connecticut Expungement Attorney Today
If you have heard about applying for pardons in the context of another state, and have been discouraged, hopefully this will give you some hope for applying for a pardon in Connecticut. For more information on pardons, visit the Restoration Rights Project. If you have any questions or are looking to apply for a pardon, call our office to speak with a Connecticut expungement lawyer who can help you and answer any questions that you might have. We are happy to assist with your pardon!