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Stamford CT Criminal Defense Law Blog

A Clean Slate: Getting a Pardon in Connecticut

What types of Pardons are available in Connecticut?

There are 3 options when applying for a Pardon:

  1. Full Pardon:  A full Pardon results in a complete expungement of your criminal record.  If the Board of Pardons grants a Full Pardon, your criminal record will be completely erased.
  2. Conditional Pardon:  A Conditional Pardon is very similar to a Full Pardon in that your record will be expunged; however, the Board of Pardons will place a condition or requirement that you must abide by or fulfill.  Failure to abide by this condition may result in the Pardon being revoked.
  3. Certificate of Employability:  A Certificate of Employability is not the same as erasure of your criminal record.  These types of Pardons are given to prevent employers or future employers from denying employment because of an applicant's criminal record.

Am I eligible for a Pardon?

Whether you are technically eligible to be considered for a Pardon depends on how much time has passed since the date of conviction for your last offense.  You are eligible to apply for a Pardon three (3) years from the date of conviction for any misdemeanor, and five (5) years from the date of conviction for any felony.

You cannot apply for a Pardon for one offense and not the other.  Your entire criminal record will be considered by the Board of Pardons.  You are not elibile for a Pardon if you are currently incarcerated or if you have any pending criminal matters in the state of Connecticut or in any other jurisdiction.

How do I apply for a Pardon?

You can download an application from the Board of Pardons and Paroles website - www.ct.gov/doc/bopp.  If you need assistance or have any questions about the application, you may call the Pardons Unit of the Board of Pardons and Paroles at (203) 805-6643.  If you want to retain an attorney to assist you with the Pardon Application, you can contact our office at (203) 327-1500.

How long does it take to get a Pardon?

The Pardons process from application to decision takes approximately 12 months.  The Pardons Board, State Police, Probation Department, and Judicial Branch all review your criminal record to ensure that they have accurately determined your criminal history.  

You should receive a letter from the Board of Pardons approximately four (4) months after submitting your Pardons Application.  You will be notified that the Board has granted a hearing, denied your application, or has granted a Provisional Pardon.  If you are granted a Provisional Pardon, you will receive a Certificate of Employability in the same mailing.

How many Pardons hearings take place per year?

There are currently eight (8) hearings per year.  Before each hearing, there is a pre-screen session at which the Board reviews all of the cases submitted for Pardon consideration for that particular hearing session.  Pardons hearings are open to the public.

Do I need to appear at the Hearing?

Yes, the Board may require your appearance at your hearing.  You will receive a letter notifying whether you are required to appear at your hearing and you may be required to do so even if you are no longer a resident of Connecticut.

Is there a dealine to apply for a Pardon?

No, there is no deadline.  Pardons are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Can I seek a Pardon for any crime?

Techincally, yes.  However, certain crimes, especially crimes of violence, are very difficult cases.  The Board considers the need to protect the public when making decisions regarding expunging an applicant's criminal history.

How can I improve my chances of being granted a Pardon?

It's never too early to start thinking about the Pardons process!  Although you have a criminal conviction, you can start making positive contributions to the community - by furthering your education, seeking and maintaining employment, getting mental and/or substance abuse treatment if needed, performing community service and/or other charitable works, and saving documentation confirming your efforts to be a contributing member of society.

The Pardons application is comprehensive and care should be taken when preparing your application package.  The Board needs to have a clear picture of each applicant's background and character.  It is important that you are accurate and thorough when providing information regarding your employment history, educational background and/or training, mental health or substance abuse treatment, contributions to the community, why you want a Pardon, and how you have changed and what you learned since you committed the offense/offenses for which you are seeking a Pardon.  The granting of a Pardon is in many ways an act of mercy - you are not entitled to it, but have the opportunity to demonstrate, through your application, why you merit a Pardon.

Connecticut's Underage Drinking and Driving Laws--Beyond Criminal Court

In Connecticut, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs ("DUI") is a crime.  If you are under 21 years of age, you are considered legally intoxicated if you have a .02 Blood Alcohol Content ("BAC") or higher.  Even if you refuse to take a breath, blood or urine test, you can be prosecuted if law enforcement determines that you drove a motor vehicle while your ability to operate was impaired.

8 Things to Think About When Applying for a Pardon in Connecticut

Getting a Pardon Can Change Your Life.

Having a criminal conviction on your record has many negative consequences; a criminal record may make it hard to find housing, apply for benefits, or obtain certain licenses or permits.  Many people often have difficulty obtaining employment because of their criminal record.  The state of Connecticut has a Pardons process, and you may be eligible to have your Connecticut criminal record erased. 

Man finally freed after 25 years for murder he didnít commit

Imagine being charged with a crime that you didn’t commit. Now imagine that despite having proof that could help authorities determine that you weren’t even in the same state when the crime happened, you were still convicted. Just because a person in Fairfield County is charged with a crime, does not mean he or she is guilty, but wrongful convictions can still happen.

According to reports, a man who was convicted of shooting his friend back in 1989 has finally been set free by a judge in Brooklyn, New York. The man was reportedly convicted of murder, even though he had tangible proof that he did not commit the crime. The man was reportedly in Florida at the time of the shooting and he even had a Florida hotel receipt that was paid just a few hours before the crime was committed.

Drug dogs less reliable in traffic stop searches

Have you been arrested or charged with a drug crime? Even though the evidence against you may look bad that doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance of beating the charges. Investigators make mistakes, which is why anyone in the Fairfield County area facing drug charges should understand his or her rights.

Although drug-sniffing dogs are used to help investigators in the war on drugs, just like humans, dogs can make mistakes. In fact, according to a report that was recently published in the journal Forensic Science International, drug-sniffing dogs have the hardest time during traffic stop scenarios. Reportedly, these highly trained dogs committed false alerts 22 percent of the time when they had access to the outside of the vehicle.

Man facing several charges after altercation with co-worker

Any kind of criminal charge should be taken serious. From a DUI to assault, any crime can have serious consequences that can affect a person for a lifetime. People in the Bridgeport area make poor decisions from time to time, but that doesn’t mean everyone arrested for a crime is guilty or that he or she should always receive the maximum penalty if convicted.

Authorities are still trying to gather information as they investigate a recent incident between to co-workers at a Fairfield restaurant. According to reports, investigators tried to obtain video from the surveillance system cameras at the restaurant, but the camera was not working properly. Attempts to glean more information from the restaurant owner and manger also came up short.

Pastor under investigation for misusing church memberís money

There are hundreds of types of crimes with which people can be charged. However, sometimes people in Fairfield County face criminal charges because of innocent mistakes. Not everyone who is charged with a crime is guilty.

According to authorities, a pastor from Stratford has reportedly given a large sum of money to a convicted felon, which in and of itself is not a crime. However, the pastor has been accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from a member of his congregation in order to give the convicted felon the money. According to reports, the pastor was given control of the elderly church member’s estate. He then began loaning the money to the convicted felon in 2009.

Sex offender arrested after submitting address forms late

When a person in Fairfield County has been convicted of a sex crime that conviction can bring about many serious consequences, not the least of which is being registered as a sex offender. Registered sex offenders are obligated to do several things, including updating their living status periodically. If they fail to comply, the court can impose additional consequences. However, not everyone who is late to turn in his or her card is trying to purposely evade the system.

A Wilton man who is a registered sex offender has been arrested again after authorities say he failed to comply with the conditions of his conviction. According to court papers, the 59-year-old man did not correctly submit his address verification forms to Connecticut State Police twice in the last six months. The man reportedly was late turning in his paperwork in both October of last year and February of this year.

DUI case thrown out after alcohol tests come back negative

Imagine being pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence in Fairfield County when you haven’t even had one sip of alcohol. Then, imagine the officer asking you to perform a field sobriety test and telling you that you failed it. Next, imagine being taken to the police station and being given a Breathalyzer test, which comes back at 0.00 and still being arrested for a DUI.

That scenario may seem very improbable, or even impossible, but that’s exactly what happened to one man, who was recently pulled over for running a red light. Authorities say they had to error on the side of caution. So, despite the man registering the lowest result possible on a Breathalyzer test, he was still arrested.

Kennedy acquitted of DUI after evidence supports her alibi

When you get behind the wheel of a vehicle you have the responsibility to ensure that you are capable of operating said vehicle. Of course, no one in Fairfield County, or anywhere else, should drive while he or she is impaired. However, what happens if a person ends up behind the wheel of a vehicle after accidently becoming impaired?

The daughter of Senator Robert F. Kennedy has been acquitted of drugged-driving charges after she reportedly mixed up her medication before getting behind the wheel of her vehicle. Although the prosecution agreed that Kerry Kennedy did in fact accidently take a powerful and quick-acting sleeping pill before operating her vehicle, they charged her with drugged-driving on the grounds that she continued to drive even after she realized she had mixed up her medication.