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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.

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.

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