You might be able to get a Connecticut state charge or conviction removed from your record if
- your record should have been erased,
- you can prove there is a mistake on your record, or
- you get a pardon (also called an expungement).
Erased means that the record will not show up on your criminal record or background check. You can tell employers that you do not have a criminal record. An employer cannot find out about any erased charges, arrests, or convictions.
What records can be erased?
Only some types of records can be erased, including those where
- you were found not guilty,
- your case was dismissed or thrown out,
- your case was nolled at least 13 months ago,
- your case was put on hold at least 13 months ago and you finished an accelerated rehabilitation program, or
- you were a youthful offender and you were not convicted of a felony before you turned 21.
Records are usually erased automatically, but sometimes that does not happen. If your record was not erased, you should contact the court.
Correcting a Mistake
It might be easier to correct a mistake than to try to explain to an employer that your record is wrong. Here is how to correct a mistake:
- Use form DPS-0846-C from the State of Connecticut website to get a copy of your record from the state police.
- Send a letter to the state police explaining what is wrong, along with proof that a mistake was made.
- Mail the completed form to:
Department of Public Safety
State Police Bureau of Identification
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, CT 06457
The state police must give you a written answer within 60 days. You have the right to appeal the decision.
There are two types of pardons:
- An expungement erases your entire Connecticut state criminal record. To apply, you must wait 3 years (for a misdemeanor) or 5 years (for a felony) from the disposition date.
- A provisional pardon or Certificate of Employability (COE) does not erase your criminal record, but having one might make it easier for you to get a job. A provisional pardon or COE makes it illegal for an employer to refuse to hire you just because of your record.
How do I ask for a pardon?
You will need to fill out an application, which you can get from the Board of Pardons and Paroles. (Go to www.ct.gov/bopp and click on "Forms.")