Expungement in Connecticut
In Connecticut, expungement is the process by which previous criminal records are erased and destroyed. These records are erased through the operation of law and a retention clerk so that the public cannot access them. Expunged files still exist, but they are inaccessible to the general public. An individual who has applied for expungement may then be able to claim that he or she never committed a crime and was never accused or arrested of committing a crime. A person can apply for record expungement three years after the final verdict.
Sealed Records Opening
Even though these records are sealed, they can be accessed in unusual circumstances where they can be searched, used, and retrieved with statutory authorization. Records will also be disclosed as a result of a false arrest, as noted in expunged files, or as a result of a connection to perjury charges, as brought to the court’s attention by the prosecutor. The victim of the crime or his or her legal representative may be informed of the conviction’s dismissal two years after the case’s disposition date. This is a legal requirement under Connecticut Statutes Section 54-142c. When a crime is decriminalized, a person charged with it may petition the court for permanent expungement under Connecticut Statutes Section 54-142d.
In Connecticut, not all records may be expunged; only certain cases are eligible. However, when an expungement is granted, several files are also removed. All police and court records as recorded and noted by the attorney assigned to the case, as well as all other materials relevant to the charge, are included. Juvenile offenders may have all of their records and anything related to the case erased, including complaint, arrest, petition, referral, report, and order files. According to Connecticut Statute Section 54-76o, these must be removed from all agencies in authority as well as all official and institutional files. This legally establishes that no offense, arrest, or conviction occurred.
Eligibility for Expungement
Adult criminal charges that have been pardoned, dismissed, decriminalized, nolled, or found not guilty are eligible for expungement. A person who was found not guilty in a court of law due to a mental disease or mental defect, on the other hand, is ineligible for this petition. Those found guilty but not criminally responsible due to a mental defect or illness are also ineligible.
All individuals who have been identified as youth offenders (those under the age of twenty-one) and adjudicated as such are also eligible for criminal record expungement. Children who have been found delinquent and then released from the Department of Children and Families or the supervision of the Supreme Court are eligible for criminal record sealing.
Expungement files must be petitioned to the court where the case was handled with all of the necessary information. If a judge determines that a case is not in the court’s favor, the petition will be denied.