In Connecticut, your criminal records can be erased or expunged under the circumstances described below. If your record is eliminated, it is as though the arrest, charge, or conviction never occurred, and you can legally say that you do not have a criminal record. (CGS § 54-142a.)
Records That Can Be Erased
Your record may be erased if:
- you were charged with a crime but found not guilty
- your case was dismissed
- the charges against you were dropped (“nolled”) at least 13 months ago, or
- your case was put on hold (“continued”) at least 13 months ago and there has been no prosecution or other disposition of the matter.
(CGS § 54-142a.)
If your record qualifies for erasure, it should happen automatically. If it does not, you may petition the court where your case was handled and ask that your record be cleared.
Qualifying for an Expungement Pardon
If your records cannot be erased under the rules above, you may apply for what is called an “expungement pardon.” If you qualify, your entire criminal history will be erased. (CGS § 142a(d).) Expungement pardons are available for:
- misdemeanor convictions, after waiting three years
- felony convictions, after waiting five years
The Connecticut Board of Pardons has the authority to grant pardons for any crime.
Correcting Your Criminal Record
If you believe there is a mistake on your criminal record, you may ask to have it corrected. To do so, you must get a copy of your record and then send a letter to the state police containing proof of the mistake. To request a copy of your criminal history record, visit the Connecticut Department of Safety website and complete the form titled DPS-0846-C.
For More Information
Cleaning up your criminal record can be complicated. To learn more about erasing or expunging criminal records in Connecticut -- and to discuss your personal circumstances -- you should contact a qualified criminal law attorney. A good lawyer can guide you each step of the way.