Hartford Criminal Record Erasure Attorneys
Expunging criminal arrests in Manchester and Hartford, CT
If you’re arrested and convicted of a crime, your arrest remains a matter of public record, even if you’ve completed your sentence and all its terms satisfactorily. Even if you’re arrested and released without charges, or if you’re charged with a crime and those charges are dismissed, it’s still on public record.
Having an arrest of criminal conviction on your record can prevent you from obtaining gainful employment, renting an apartment or home, or gaining admission or financial aid from certain universities and colleges. However, you do have options. Here in Connecticut, some criminal records can be expunged or erased. With expungement, your record is physically destroyed, and you can legally state that you don’t have a criminal record.
The Hartford criminal defense attorneys at Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC understand that your criminal history isn’t who you are as a person. Whether you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or made a small mistake that can now follow you for years to come, our legal team can help you apply to have your record erased and expunged. Call us today for a consultation.
Expunging your Hartford criminal record
When we say erasing or expunging a criminal record, we mean it no longer shows up on a background check, and a potential employer or other party won’t find out about any past arrests, charges, or convictions. However, not every type of charge can be erased.
The following types of criminal charges are eligible to be expunged from your record:
- You were found not guilty
- Your case was thrown out or dismissed
- Your case was “nolled” (not prosecuted) at least 13 months ago
- You were a youth offender and weren’t convicted of a felony before age 21
- Misdemeanor convictions after three years have passed
- Felony convictions after five years have passed
Here in Connecticut, there are two basic ways to clear your criminal record – pardons and erasures. Although both can result in clearing your criminal record, a motion for erasure may not clear the entire thing. However, an absolute pardon will.
What’s the difference between a pardon and an erasure?
An application for a pardon of your criminal record goes through and is decided by the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles (BOPP). Pardons can be quite complicated and time-consuming, but are what most individuals need when wanting to completely clear their criminal record.
The BOPP decides whether or not to grant the pardon, and once granted a full pardon, your entire Connecticut criminal record is destroyed from public view and you’re free to say that you don’t have a record.
When you file a motion to erase your criminal record, it’s typically filed in and decided in the court where you were convicted, not the BOPP. Motions for erasure don’t fully clear your criminal record, but are useful under some limited circumstances.
You may also apply for a certificate of employability (COE). This does not expunge your Connecticut criminal record, but it does ensure it’s not held against you when applying for certain jobs.
Can I have serious crimes removed from my record?
Many people believe that if they’ve been convicted of a serious or violent crime, they have no hope of ever getting their record expunged. It is true that in some cases it’s impossible to clean a record completely, but the BOPP does review everyone’s application individually. Our attorneys advocate for you according to your unique circumstances.
The Board takes many factors into account when evaluating your application, including:
- Signs of your rehabilitation and improvement
- Reasons you want an expungement
- The circumstances of the crime
- Your educational background and employment history
- Your explanation of the crime
- Your overall criminal record
- Other relevant considerations
The benefits of erasure when it comes to criminal records
After your criminal record is expunged – whether from a drug crime, theft, assault, or other crime – you can legally say you no longer have a criminal record. Record expungement can improve your life situation in a variety of ways:
- Improved chances for employment. Background checks are standard for employers when screening applicants for jobs, no matter what industry. With the majority of employers, a criminal record will disqualify you from consideration – and even when it doesn’t, it’s rare you’ll make it to the shortlist. After an expungement, your criminal history won’t show up in a background check, improving your chances of securing a job on your own merits.
- Peace of mind. A criminal history is part of public record, and that means that anyone who wants to find your criminal record can do so. Co-workers, friends, family, and potential relationship partners are all a few mouse clicks away from accessing this information.
- Housing accessibility. Claiming security concerns, many landlords conduct criminal background checks on potential applicants. With a criminal record, you may find it difficult to rent an apartment or house, limiting your ability to find desirable housing for you and your family.
- Improved financial security. Many financial institutions believe a criminal record is an indication that you may be unlikely to pay back the bank, and either outright deny you a loan or charge you high interest rates. Expungement can significantly improve your chances to secure a loan or lower your interest rates.
Experienced Hartford criminal record pardon lawyers
A criminal record can negatively affect you for the rest of your life. However, at Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC, our attorneys can work to have them permanently removed. Expungement is complicated, but our legal team is well-versed in pardons and erasures. Call us today. We’re located minutes off Route 44 in Manchester. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers in Hartford or Manchester, please call 860-649-4400 or fill out our contact form.