New Haven Pardons Lawyer
At Billings & Barrett, our New Haven pardons lawyers understand that there are serious consequences with any criminal conviction even after you have served your sentence and completed probation. We know that the convictions from a year ago or even 10 years ago can still impact your life, your ability to become employed, and being able to provide for your family. You pleaded guilty, served your sentence, finished your probation, and you have been punished. We believe that you should be able to move on with your life. Billings & Barrett can help.
The most common problem caused by an old criminal conviction is your ability to get a job. Every employer will inevitably ask if you have ever been convicted of a crime. If you have been convicted, you either answer yes or lie. If you answer truthfully, you hurt yourself and you may no longer be offered the job position. If you lie, the employer will likely find out after they run a background check and then it will be almost impossible for you to get the job.
Our New Haven criminal attorneys can walk you through the pardons application, make the process as simple as possible, and place you in an improved position to have your pardon granted.
The pardon attorneys at Billings & Barrett can help by assisting you during each step of the pardon process. We will determine if you are eligible for a pardon (or provisional pardon), help you obtain the necessary records, compile the paperwork, explain the process, and represent you at the actual hearing. We can help you move on with your life.
The Board of Pardons & Paroles
The Board of Pardons & Paroles is a state agency that oversees the pardon process. It is an autonomous agency that is supported by the Department of Correction. The Board has complete discretion in granting or denying pardon applications.
In recent years, an increasing amount of pardons have been granted. For example, in 2003, there were a total of 330 applications- not a single of which was granted. In 2010, however, 925 applications were received and 403 were granted. This suggests that it is possible to obtain a pardon. In fact, you may even have a good chance of obtaining one.
Types of Pardons
There are three types of pardons: Full Pardons, Conditional Pardons, and Provisional Pardons. A Full Pardon, also known as an expungement, completely erases your criminal record. A Conditional Pardon completely erases your criminal record, but there are certain conditions attached to the pardon. If you do not satisfy those conditions, the pardon can be revoked. The final type of pardon that a New Haven pardons lawyer can assist you with is a Provisional Pardon. This type of pardon indicates that the person is employable and suitable to hold certain types of licenses that they were not previously eligible for due to their criminal record.
A person is eligible to apply for a pardon three years after a misdemeanor conviction and five years after a felony conviction. Additionally, you must not have any case pending or have had a charge nolled within the last 13 months. There is no deadline to apply for a pardon, but they are processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
There are numerous factors the Board of Pardons considers when ruling on an application of pardon. The Board considers the following: the rehabilitation of the offender applicant, the severity of the offense, the impact on the victim and the victim’s input, past criminal history and how much time has passed since the commission of the most recent offense, and whether the public interest is served by erasing a criminal record or granting a provisional pardon. The State’s Attorney’s opinion is also taken into consideration.
The Board will also consider what the individual has accomplished since his or her most recent offense. The Board takes into account the individuals work history; subsequent contact with the criminal justice system, and character references. Community service is also taken into consideration. The Board may consider any other pertinent information provided by you or your New Haven pardons attorney in deciding whether to grant or deny a pardon.
Going Through the Pardon Process
The entire pardon process generally takes approximately 12 months. The reason it is so time-consuming is due to the fact that it is taken very seriously by the Board of Pardons. In addition, numerous state agencies are involved including the Pardons Board, State Police, Probation Department and Judicial Branch. This ensures that appropriate applicants are granted pardons, the pardon is properly recorded, and the conviction is erased.
The first step is completing the Pardon Application. The application is very lengthy and requires detailed information. If the information you provide is not 100% accurate and truthful and you are granted a pardon, that pardon can be revoked.
As a part of the application, you are required to submit numerous documents including: your criminal history (which requires your fingerprints), copies of police reports for any arrest that resulted in a conviction in the last 10 years or a letter from the police department saying the reports are not available, a letter from Adult Probation indicating the date of your discharge from probation, and a minimum of three reference letters.
Once you submit the application, it is reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Typically, you will receive a letter, approximately four months after submitting your application, which will tell you whether you were granted a pardon, granted a hearing or denied a pardon. If you are denied a pardon, you will also receive a letter that explains why the decision to deny you a pardon was made. Additionally, the letter will inform you when you can reapply for a pardon in the future.
If you are granted a hearing, it will then be scheduled. Currently, there are eight hearings a year. These hearings are open to the public. If you are granted a hearing, you will be notified of the hearing date by mail. That same letter will notify you if you must attend the hearing.