Expungement in Connecticut

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 Expungement of Juvenile Criminal Records

Most juvenile records in Connecticut are private and cannot be accessed without a court order. Juvenile records can also be cleared. You must submit a Petition for Erasure with the court to request that juvenile records be expunged.

Pardon or Expungement of Adult Criminal Records

When the applicable appeal deadlines expire, most arrest records, acquitted charges, and dropped charges are immediately expunged.

Additionally, if you were convicted of a crime that was later decriminalized, you are eligible for an expungement. To get an expungement for a decriminalized conviction, you must file a Petition for Erasure with the court.

Is it Possible to Expunge a Felony?

In Connecticut, the Board of Pardons and Paroles is responsible for pardoning felony and misdemeanor convictions.

There are waiting periods for expungement claims. You must wait:

  • Three years for misdemeanor convictions
  • Five years for felony convictions

It will be denied if you request an expungement pardon before the waiting period expires.

Why Would a Case Be Dismissed?

A court may dismiss a criminal case for a variety of reasons, including:

Lack of Evidence at the Preliminary Hearing
A preliminary hearing must be held soon after a person is arrested and charged with a crime. It is also known as a probable cause hearing.

The goal of the preliminary hearing is for the prosecution to submit enough evidence to convince the judge presiding over it that the defendant committed the offense for which they are charged.

The criminal case will move on to the next level if the prosecution prevails at the preliminary hearing.

However, if the evidence is plainly insufficient to show probable cause, then the attorney for the defendant would make a move to dismiss the charge, and the judge would grant the motion and dismiss the case.

A motion to dismiss could be called an “application for an order of dismissal” in some courts.

Of course, if the judge denies the petition to dismiss, the case will go to trial or some other pre-trial resolution, such as a plea agreement.

Evidence Suppression
Evidence that the prosecution wishes to utilize may become unavailable because the defendant’s attorney seeks to suppress it.

If the judge grants the defendant’s request to suppress, it means that the prosecution will not be able to use certain evidence in a future trial.

This may undermine the prosecution’s case.

The evidence could be suppressed because it was gathered in violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights. The constitutional rights of a defendant can be violated in a variety of ways.

It’s possible that the evidence was obtained through an unjustified, illegal search or seizure.

Alternatively, the evidence could have been collected due to a failure to observe a defendant’s Miranda rights, which are the right to remain silent when interviewed by authorities. Or the police may have neglected to respect the defendant’s right to have an attorney present during questioning.

Whatever the rationale for the evidence’s suppression, the result is the same. The prosecution cannot use the evidence. Without the withheld evidence, the prosecution may be unable to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This could result in the criminal charge being dropped.

Prosecutorial Misconduct
The prosecution has committed egregious misconduct. This is an example of misconduct when the prosecution has evidence proving the defendant’s innocence but refuses to share it with the defense.

The United States Constitution requires such proof, known as exculpatory evidence, to be provided to the defense. The case may be dismissed if a judge determines that there was willful hiding of exculpatory evidence.

What Is a Criminal Record Search?

A criminal records check entails investigating another person’s criminal actions and convictions. Usually, they are maintained by municipal or national record-keeping departments. The court preserves official records when a person is convicted of a crime.

The information is generally regarded as a public record, meaning anyone can obtain it. Records may include information such as the nature of the charges, the date, location, and time period of the crime, docket numbers, and sentence information.

What Data Can Be Found in a Criminal Record?

Records that can be viewed can provide information such as the following:

  • Information on prior charges
  • Dates, names of parties involved, and charges’ locations
  • Information on sentencing
  • Whether there are any pending charges
  • In some circumstances, information about outstanding arrest warrants is provided.

When Are Criminal Record Searches Performed?

A criminal record search may be carried out for a number of reasons.

Some of the reasons why someone could conduct a criminal record search on someone are as follows:

  • Employment background checks: Before hiring someone, employers often do a criminal history check, especially for security-related professions.
  • Criminal cases: During a subsequent trial or criminal hearing, judges and juries will have access to the person’s criminal history. Prior criminal records may typically lead to enhanced punishment. A criminal background may have a detrimental impact on immigration privileges (i.e., visa applications, naturalization rights, etc.).
  • Commercial ventures: Background checks may be required for certain commercial ventures.
  • Personal information: Some people may want to look into the criminal history of someone they know.

When doing a criminal background check on someone, it is critical to follow numerous protocols and rules, especially in an employment situation. Illegal criminal background checks can result in legal ramifications.

Will My Arrest Record Contain Any Convictions?

In most circumstances, criminal convictions are reflected in arrest records. They may also include procedural information such as:

  1. Whether or not the person owes any criminal restitution or fines
  2. Prior incarcerations, including the length of time spent jailed and the sort of facility in which the person was housed
  3. Any instances of existing or impending hearings or litigation Military service, if appropriate (this may pertain to other issues such as dishonorable discharge)

The specific details and information contained in an arrest record will differ from person to person.

Obtaining an Expungement

You must file an Application for Pardon with the Board of Pardons and Paroles to obtain an arrest records expungement in Connecticut. Your application will be pre-screened, and you may be chosen for a pardon hearing.

Regrettably, the Board only grants a small number of hearings and pardons each year. For this reason, it is crucial that you complete a detailed and precise application.

You must attend any pardon hearings that are scheduled. The Board will assess your eligibility for a pardon at the hearing. It will consider the gravity of your crimes as well as evidence of rehabilitation, such as your employment history and character references.

If you are not qualified for a pardon, you may apply for a Certificate of Employability. A Certificate of Employability forbids an employer from denying you work merely on the basis of your criminal history. It also qualifies you for some types of licenses.

Associated Fees and Paperwork

The Board of Pardons and Parole does not charge an application fee. Nevertheless, you will be charged for a State Police criminal records check. If you hire an attorney, they will also charge an attorney fee.

Implications of a Successful Expungement

If the Board grants your petition, you may legally indicate on a job application or interview that you have an expunged criminal record. Most companies will not find the charges on your Connecticut criminal record.

Consulting an Attorney

Supporting evidence, such as information on your rehabilitation and good behavior, is required for a successful expungement petition. A Connecticut expungement attorney can assist you with the application procedure.

Additionally, a lawyer can speak on your side during a pardon hearing and provide you with the best opportunity to expunge your record.

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