Can my criminal record be expunged?

The ability to expunge or, in Connecticut, absolute pardon a criminal record varies depending on several factors, including the specific circumstances of your case. Expungement is the process that allows individuals to have their criminal records sealed or erased, effectively making it as if the conviction never occurred.

However, not all convictions are eligible for expungement, and the rules and requirements can vary significantly from one jurisdiction to another. Here are some factors to consider when determining whether you are eligible for an expungement.


State or country laws typically determine expungement laws, so the specific rules and eligibility criteria will depend on where your conviction took place. If it occurred in Connecticut, you must follow their procedures.

Type of conviction

Some jurisdictions only allow expungement for certain types of convictions, such as minor or first-time offenses. Serious crimes, such as violent felonies, may not be eligible for expungement.

Waiting period

In some cases, you may need to wait for a certain period after completing your sentence or probation before applying for expungement. This waiting period varies by jurisdiction. In Connecticut, the waiting period differs depending on other factors. These are:

  • Arrested but not convicted: 13 months
  • Convicted of a misdemeanor: Three years
  • Convicted of a felony: Five years

In certain cases, you can have your record expunged after you finish with parole. The courts examine these cases on an individual basis.

It is important to note that even if you expunge your record, there may still be circumstances where certain entities, such as law enforcement agencies or some employers, can access sealed records.