Getting a Connecticut DUI conviction can be a frightening prospect. Not only do you have to deal with immediate consequences such as fines, jail time, a driver’s license suspension, etc., but you may also have to deal with the long term consequences of a criminal record. Having a criminal record can make certain things in life harder. It can make it more difficult to get some types of jobs and even bar you from being eligible for certain jobs. It can result in a professional license suspension or revocation which can also have an impact on your career. In addition, you may face societal stigma, issues with your driver’s license, and more.
Luckily, Connecticut offers pardons for crimes that are eligible. A pardon is an erasure of your criminal history. If a pardon is granted, you do not have to disclose a criminal history, because it will be erased. But what crimes are eligible to be pardoned? The laws have recently changed in Connecticut, so read on to learn more.
Connecticut’s Pardon Program
Traditionally, a pardon could be obtained in Connecticut if a person applied and was accepted by the Board of Pardons and Paroles. A person had to wait several years after the date of their conviction, file an application, and face an interview with the Board of Pardons. The Board of Pardons could decide to grant or deny the request for a pardon.
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However, the law in Connecticut is changing. This process has been going on for some time now. A few years ago, Connecticut introduced the expedited pardon option, which could allow a person to obtain a pardon in a quicker manner. The Covid-19 pandemic also had an impact on the pardon process. Hearings were not held in person in 2020, and because the system worked, pardon hearings have permanently been switched from in person to virtual.
The Clean Slate Bill
Finally, a big change came to the pardon process in 2021 with the Clean Slate Bill. Those who are eligible will no longer have to apply for a pardon. Instead, it will be granted automatically after a certain period of time has passed since the date of conviction. If accused of a misdemeanor, the time period to wait before erasure is seven years. If accused of a felony, the time period to wait is 10 years.
While there are some exceptions of crimes that are not eligible for automatic erasure, DUIs are eligible. Depending on the circumstances of your conviction and the specific crime you were charged with, you should be able to have the conviction erased from your criminal record in 7-10 years.
If you find that you are not eligible for an automatic pardon under the Clean Slate Bill, contact our office for help. Alternatively, if you have any questions regarding the pardon process in Connecticut or your DUI charge, we are here for you. Give us a call and we can answer your questions and make sure that your rights are protected under the law.