Expunging or Sealing an Adult Criminal Record in Connecticut

In Connecticut, you may be able to have your criminal records expunged -- that is, erased or sealed -- if you meet certain requirements. For legal purposes, after a criminal record is expunged, it is as though the crime never happened.

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. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 54-142a(e)(3) (2018).)

Records That Can Be Erased in Connecticut

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.

(Conn. Gen. Stat. § 54-142a (2018).)

If your record qualifies for erasure, in many cases 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 in Connecticut

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. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 142a(d) (2018).) Expungement pardons are available for:

  • misdemeanor convictions, after waiting three years
  • felony convictions, after waiting five years

(Conn. Gen. Stat. § 54-130a (2018).)

The Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles has the authority to grant pardons for any crime.

For more information about expungement pardons, visit the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles website. There, you will find the form and instructions for completing an Expungement Pardon Petition.

Correcting Your Criminal Record in Connecticut

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. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 54-142l (2018).)

To request a copy of your criminal history record, visit the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection website and complete the form titled DPS-0846-C.

Getting Legal Help

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.

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