New Clean Slate Law May Provide Relief to Convicts in Connecticut

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Hartford, CT criminal defense lawyer for clearing criminal recordsIt is well-understood that committing a crime can lead to multiple types of consequences. However, many people are not fully aware of the long-term effects of being convicted on criminal charges. Even after a person has served their sentence, they will have a criminal record that will show up in background checks, which can affect their ability to obtain employment, secure housing, or pursue education. To address this issue and help people convicted of crimes better reintegrate into society, the Connecticut state Senate recently passed a “Clean Slate” bill.

Potential Changes in the Clean Slate Bill

The bill passed by the Senate would automatically erase certain types of criminal convictions from a person’s record after they have successfully completed their sentence and have not committed any crimes for a certain number of years. Misdemeanor convictions may be erased seven years after the date of conviction, and Class D or Class E felony convictions may be erased after 10 to 15 years.

Supporters of the bill believe that it strikes a balance between ensuring that criminals are punished for their crimes and allowing people who have served their debt to society to avoid ongoing collateral consequences. For far too many people, a criminal conviction can function as a life sentence, even for relatively minor offenses. Those who are unable to find employment because of a criminal record are likely to commit further crimes. Clearing criminal records after the proper amount of time has passed will ultimately increase public safety.

Opponents of the bill believe that it goes too far and provides unnecessary breaks for people who have broken the law. They noted that offenses such as first-degree threatening, first-degree unlawful restraint, second-degree strangulation, second-degree stalking, or third-degree abuse of a blind or elderly person would be eligible to be erased from a person’s criminal record. However, the bill included provisions to ensure that sexual offenses or family violence charges could not be erased.

While the Connecticut Senate has passed the clean slate bill, the House of Representatives has not yet voted on it. If the bill is passed, it will need to be signed by Governor Ned Lamont before it becomes law. The bill’s provisions would go into effect on January 1, 2023.

Contact Our Hartford Criminal Law Attorney

At the Woolf Law Firm, we understand how a criminal conviction can affect a person’s life. We provide defendants with legal representation during criminal cases, helping them determine how they can avoid a conviction or secure reduced charges. If you are facing criminal charges, we will help you understand the best defense strategy during your case, and we will advocate on your behalf to protect your rights and help you minimize the consequences you may face. We can also help you apply for a pardon to clear your criminal record. To get legal help with your criminal case, contact our Connecticut criminal defense lawyer at 860-290-8690 to set up a free, confidential consultation.

Sources:

https://www.courant.com/politics/hc-pol-ct-senate-clean-slate-20210519-fha44cscenhqdigxa7yo454ydq-story.html

https://ctmirror.org/2021/05/18/domestic-violence-and-clean-slate-bills-pass-senate/

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