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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.

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pretrial programs in Connecticut, Hartford criminal law attorneyConnecticut criminal law has a variety of different goals. In a narrow sense, it exists to punish offenders and to deter people from committing crimes. However, the law also has a more positive purpose; in fact, one of the most important goals of the criminal law system is rehabilitation. Yet, ordinary criminal law punishments like prison or fines are notoriously bad at preventing recidivism. In order to deal with this, the Connecticut legislature introduced a set pretrial diversion programs. These programs are available to some less serious offenders, who can complete the rehabilitative programs and see their charges dismissed.

There are a variety of pretrial diversion programs available in Connecticut, including Accelerated Rehabilitation (AR), the Pretrial Drug Education Program, the Connecticut Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission Diversionary Program (CADAC), the Family Violence Education Program, and the Alcohol Education Program.

The Programs' Specifics

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