Many believe that a criminal conviction or even an arrest for alleged wrongdoing will permanently impact their lives. These incidents will appear on a permanent record and in any criminal background checks.
Thankfully, state law provides a way for many people to get a fresh start in life. The expungement program allows you to request that the Board of Pardons and Paroles order a court to wipe your criminal record. However, there are several requirements, as an attorney could explain. Consulting with a Shelton expungement lawyer at Ruane Attorneys could help you determine if this option is available.
What is the Purpose of Expungement?
Expungement is a formal legal process that aims to erase a person’s criminal record. In Shelton and the rest of the state, two options are available for applicants: absolute pardons and certificates of employability.
Absolute pardons are what most people imagine when they think of expungements. Here, the Board of Parolees and Pardons allows a person to apply for the total erasure of their prior criminal record. This means that any criminal background check for a job, housing, or other purposes will come back clean. In addition, any future criminal court case will not consider the person as having a prior conviction on their record.
Certificate of Employability
A certificate of employability is often an intermediate step for those not yet eligible for a full pardon. Here, the Board issues a formal statement that a person’s past criminal record should not be a factor in determining whether the individual is fit for a job. In fact, employers cannot legally deny employment based on a person’s criminal record if they hold this certificate. A Shelton attorney could provide more information about these two forms of expungement in the state.
Who Can Apply for Expungement in Shelton?
State law is specific in determining when a person may be eligible for an absolute pardon. The applicant must wait at least five years after their last felony conviction or three years from their last misdemeanor conviction. Additionally, there cannot be any pending criminal action in this or any other state. Finally, the person seeking relief cannot currently be on parole or probation.
By contrast, seeking a certificate of employability does not require that a person meet these criteria. This option helps those looking to turn their lives around after a conviction. A local expungement lawyer at our firm could help determine which option is appropriate and assist with the application process.
Pending Updates in the Law for Seeking Expungement
Many states have taken steps to reform their criminal justice systems. Among these changes are modifications to the process for receiving an automatic expungement.
In Connecticut, Public Act 21-32 will go into effect on January 1, 2023. This law changes how people can seek an expungement. If the case in question is a misdemeanor, a person can request an expungement if they wait at least seven years after conviction and the offense occurred on or after January 1, 2020.
In felony cases, a person’s eligibility depends on the type of felony in question. A, B, or C felonies are never eligible for this relief. Neither are offenses involving family violence and many sex crimes that require registration as a sex offender. However, Class D or E felonies may make a person eligible for expungement after waiting ten years post-conviction. A Shelton lawyer could help determine how this upcoming change in the law may affect a person’s ability to pursue an expungement.
Reach Out to a Shelton Expungement Attorney Now
A conviction does not need to come with permanent consequences. After serving your sentence, you may be able to request a formal expungement of your criminal record. Even if an absolute pardon is not available, you may be able to obtain a certificate of employability that prevents potential employers from denying work based on your criminal record. Furthermore, coming changes in the law may make many people eligible for this relief who would not have had this option in the past.
If you are looking to get a fresh start, contact a Shelton expungement lawyer today. At Ruane Attorneys, we can explain the absolute pardon process, determine if you are eligible, and submit formal applications for relief on your behalf. Give us a call now to get started.