Lots of people hear the term “pardon” and think about a president or even a governor granting someone convicted of a crime “clemency.” However, for most ordinary people living their lives with a felony or misdemeanor record, getting the top executive authority in the country or state to free you from the burden of a criminal record is not an option. Fear not, because there are still processes you or a loved one can follow to be granted a pardon and with it, a clean background record free of criminal convictions. The agency responsible for this in Connecticut is the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles.
There has never been a better time to seek a Connecticut pardon. World events and new research has helped create a stronger understanding of the significant impact that a criminal record has on a person’s ability to improve their life. In fact, a law put into effect as of January 2023 requires the members of the Board of Pardons and Paroles to be educated on the impact of a criminal record on housing, education, and employment.
Given these developments, the latest data shows a dramatic increase in the rate at which pardons are granted! Whereas in 2016, only 62% of the pardons that had been applied for were granted, just 5 years later in 2021, that rate rose to 96%. The pardon attorneys at Bayer & Black are here to help you take advantage of this unique opportunity to expunge your or a loved one’s criminal convictions from their permanent record.
Now, before going into more detail, its also important to note that this post is specifically about “Absolute Pardons.” In Connecticut, there are a couple of different types of pardons. 99% of the people accessing this information will be thinking about Absolute Pardons (where all of your Connecticut convictions will be a erased/expunged from your criminal history), as opposed to a Certificate of Employability. Regardless of which type of pardon you are seeking, Bayer & Black can help guide you through the process.
When can I apply?
The timing of when you are eligible to apply for a pardon depends on whether you have been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor. For those with felony convictions, you are eligible to apply for a pardon 5 years after the date of your last felony conviction. Those seeking a pardon for misdemeanors can do so a little more quickly, as you can do so 3 years from the date of your last misdemeanor conviction. Probation has no bearing on the timing of when you can apply for a pardon. The only date that matters is conviction date.
In addition to the waiting period described above, you must not have any pending criminal charges, or any resolved charges that resulted in a “nolle prosequi” more commonly referred to as “nolle” in the last 13 months.
How it Works?
As mentioned above, Connecticut pardons are determined by the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Parole (BOPP). All pardon applications are submitted electronically through a link on the BOPP website. Once a completed application is submitted for review, it will be reviewed by the BOPP. If there is missing information or information was submitted erroneously, the application will be sent back explaining the reasons for its rejection. You will then need to resubmit your application with the missing information, or the corrections noted.
Once an application is completed and appropriately submitted, the BOPP will review it to see if it deems the application eligible for an Expedited Review. An expedited review means that the BOPP will act on the application without the need for a Full Hearing. Applications that are reviewed using the Expedited Review process are normally those which are deemed “victimless” offenses. If your case is not deemed suitable for an expedited review, then your matter will be set down for a Full Hearing. You must appear remotely on the scheduled date for the hearing and be prepared to answer any questions from the BOPP panel. If you are denied the pardon, you have to wait a calendar year from the date of the denial before resubmitting another application.
What paperwork/information is required?
The following information is required:
- Completed Background Information Authorization (BIA)
- State Police Background check which requires fingerprint submission to State Police
- Reference Questionnaire from three references
- Photo ID
- Police Reports from any and all arrests and convictions for which a pardon is sought
- Probation letter from most recent probation
- Proof of employment or income source
- DD214 if applicable and you served in the Armed Forces
- Personal statement
In addition to the above forms and submissions you will also be filling out background information directly into the electronic application such as your living situation and prior addresses, your work history (for last three employers), family/children, martial history, and child support, if applicable.
A pardon can save a life, a family, a job, a career, or maybe just provide a feeling of self-worth and hope. If you or a loved one are thinking it is time to apply for a pardon, please call Bayer & Black P.C. at 203-762-0751 to discuss how we can help.
This is who we are
Kevin M. Black, Sr. is a former trial level Assistant State’s Attorney (prosecutor) for the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice and the current Liaison to the Judicial District of Danbury for the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association, as well as a Member of the Connecticut Statewide Grievance Committee overseeing attorney misconduct. Kevin M. Black, Jr. is a former Special Deputy Assistant State’s Attorney (prosecutor) with the Appellate Unit of the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice. Both serve as approved Assigned Counsel for the Connecticut Office of the Chief Public Defender when needed. Our team has tried many cases to verdict and take cases to trial, or pretrial contested hearings, if needed. Our clients become part of our family and when you work with us, you will see and feel the care, compassion, and dedication that we put into defending our family. Don’t settle for anything less than a firm with a proven track record of success and deep experience on both sides of the process.
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Bayer & Black, P.C. is a leading, full service criminal defense firm serving Fairfield County, Hartford County, Litchfield County, Middlesex County, New Haven County, New London County, Tolland County, and Windham County residents for 25+ years. Contact us today to discuss your Pardon in Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, New Canaan, Westport, Fairfield, Wilton, Ridgefield, Norwalk, Trumbull, Bridgeport, Milford, Weston, Danbury, Newtown, Rowayton, case and receive a free telephone consultation. In addition to Criminal Defense we also serve people threatened by DCF, defending against Restraining Orders, Divorce victims and people injured by the negligence of others or their pets (Bodily Injury).