If you are considering applying for a pardon, you might not know too much about the process yet. You might wonder what your chances of being granted a pardon are. To understand the application process and your chances, you should understand what the Board of Pardons considers when making a decision on a pardon application. I will discuss a few of the factors that the Board of Pardons considers on this page.
The Board of Pardons and Paroles is a state agency with administrative support from the Department of Correction. The Board has the authority to grant pardons for any crime under Connecticut law. The Board has the authority and the discretion to grant and deny any pardon application. If you want to get a pardon, you need to impress the Board of Pardons and understand their application considerations in Connecticut.
What Does the Board of Pardons Consider?
There are many things that the Board will take into consideration when granting a pardon. These may include the offender’s rehabilitation and life improvement since criminal convictions, whether or not the victim shows up at the hearing and makes an impact on the Board, prior criminal history, how much time has passed since committing crimes, and what the impact would be on society if the pardon was granted.
One thing to remember is that any victims of crimes and the state’s attorney may appear at the pardon hearing. The victim’s impact statement as well as the state’s attorney opinion are taken into consideration.
The Board may consider what the individual has accomplished since criminal convictions. This might include their work history, educational history, contact with the criminal justice system, and the references from others. Other things taken into consideration are volunteering, community service, and involvement in community clubs and activities.
What Will Hurt Your Chances of Getting a Pardon?
The Board will not consider a pardon application that is missing information, missing reference letters, or applicants who have pending criminal convictions of any kind. The Board may not consider applicants who have been convicted of a felony in the past five years or a misdemeanor in the past three years either.
If a pardon application is incomplete, lacking information, or lacking convincing reason for getting granted a pardon, the application may be denied at a pre-hearing phase or at the hearing. In order to avoid this, it is best to hire a lawyer who is knowledgeable on what the Board wants to see, and how to combine all of your successes and qualities in a way that is positive.
Eight Tips for Your Application
- The Board of Pardons wants to see an application that demonstrates positive improvements in the applicant’s life. When the Board looks at a pardon application, and when they have someone in front of them for a hearing, they want to see evidence that he or she has made positive changes in life, post-conviction. Positive changes in a person’s life may include getting married, having kids, career achievements, education achievements, and more.
- Applicants who are bettering their lives with work or education shows the Board that they are productive and valuable members to society. An application that demonstrates dedication to a job, or earning a degree, shows that person’s value in hard work and dedication, and that he or she is staying out of trouble.
- Positive people in the applicant’s life, who have positive things to say about he or she as a person. The Board looks for applicants who have people in their lives like a spouse, significant other, parents, grandparents, children, or friends that stand behind them and are positive people in their life.
- No recent convictions or pending convictions. The Board of Pardons will deny an applicant if he or she has a misdemeanor within the past three years, or a felony in the past five years. The Board of Pardons will also deny an applicant who has pending charges. The Board looks for proof that the applicant is staying out of trouble, away from crime, and has moved far past his or her conviction from years ago.
- Involvement in the community, donating, volunteering, etc. An applicant who is involved in the community, donating time or services, volunteering, or is an active participant in clubs or activities will stand out. The Board looks for signs that the applicant is making society a better place, rather than getting into trouble. One of the best ways to show life improvement is involvement in the community, and taking time to help other people. This will also show the Board good character qualities and that it is important to the person to not only better his or her life, but others’ lives as well.
- Getting help or treatment for mental health and substance abuse issues. Unfortunately, many people struggle with mental health issues and substance abuse issues. The Board understands that many struggle with these issues, and applicants who show that they are getting treatment show the Board that they are taking responsibility and control of life.
- Strong desire and purpose for wanting to get a pardon. There is a section on the pardon application that asks what the applicant’s reason is for wanting a pardon. This is arguably the most important section on the entire application. An applicant who takes this space to truly make a personal statement and express their purpose and desire to get a pardon, will make that person stand out.
- Good qualities like hard working, good work ethic, impactful in community, cares about others, etc. The Board looks for an applicant who has a well-rounded, strong application. This includes the information that is emphasized above. The Board wants to grant pardons to those applicants who show strong desire to be productive in society, stay out of trouble, and live meaningful lives past a criminal conviction.
Discuss Pardon Application Considerations with a Connecticut Attorney
If you are considering applying for a pardon, but you are hesitant and still have questions, call our office to speak with someone who can answer your questions and get you started with the process today. We are happy to go over the Connecticut pardon application considerations with you and make sure that you understand what would be expected of you if you want to get a pardon. We are happy to help you with your pardon process as well.