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 to get a copy of your record from the state police.
- Send a letter to the state police explaining what is wrong on the report you received from them. Be sure to include 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 Certificate of Employability (COE) or provisional pardon 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 online application for either an absolute pardon or a certificate of employability:
If you don’t have access to a computer, contact the Board of Pardons and Paroles and ask them to send you a paper application for a pardon:
55 West Main Street
Waterbury, CT 06702