Having a criminal record can make life harder in a number of ways. Some apartment complexes may not allow you to become a tenant, and some jobs will not want to hire you. However, it is possible that you may be able to have your criminal record expunged or kept from public view. It will depend on a number of factors, but if successful, you will not have to worry about a Connecticut employer knowing that you were once arrested and charged with a crime.
The Papillon Foundation explains that the state of Connecticut allows for both adult and juvenile records to be sealed, provided certain conditions are met. It is much easier for someone to seek erasure of a juvenile record if the case was never adjudicated, meaning that a guilty conviction was deferred in favor of an alternative action like community service. If a juvenile case is dismissed, the record will be automatically erased thirteen months after prosecutorial inaction has been entered.
People who have been convicted as a juvenile may still wait certain periods of time after their convictions before seeking erasure of their records. The time to wait will depend on the severity of the crimes. Connecticut residents must wait two years for less serious crimes. For more serious offenses, the waiting period is four years. The person seeking expungement must also be no younger than 17 years old and not have further criminal charges pending or have racked up other convictions.
Adults in Connecticut can pursue the erasure of their criminal records if they were placed under arrest but ultimately never charged with a crime, or if the charges were dropped. Additionally, a person may have gone through with a trial and was acquitted. Adults who have been convicted might still be able to expunge their records if they meet the criteria for certain deferred adjudication programs.
Finally, individuals who have no recourse in the above options may still try to seek some other relief, such as a pardon. Connecticut offers residents the possibility of an expungement of a criminal record three years after a misdemeanor conviction and five years if the crime was a felony. There is also a provisional pardon that, while it does not seal your record, prohibits employers from not hiring you based on your criminal record.
Because people convicted of crimes face different scenarios in seeking the erasure of their criminal records, this article should not be taken as legal advice. It should be read for its educational benefit alone.