Pardons and Postconviction

Pardons and Expungement

Criminal convictions (misdemeanors and felonies), once final, remain on your record permanently. They can punish you long after your sentence ends. Many people who are convicted of crimes turn their lives around and want to put those convictions behind them. They can apply for a pardon through the Board of Pardons and Paroles. In Connecticut, a pardon is the only way to expunge your criminal record and its power is vested in the Board of Pardons and Paroles. In other states the pardon power is held by the governor and the President has the power to pardon federal crimes. A petitioner may submit an application five years after his or her last felony conviction and three years after the last misdemeanor. It is a written application that is reviewed by the board which may then schedule a hearing. I assist clients in compiling the documents to submit with the application, preparing the application and then representing and preparing the client at the hearing. Successful applicants demonstrate how they have learned from their mistakes and changed their lives for the better. Most of the work is on the client because I cannot do that, but I can help with the application and the hearing. 

Erasure of Marijuana Convictions

Possession of small quantities of marijuana was recently decriminalized in Connecticut. Individuals who were convicted of the misdemeanor offense of possession of less than 1/2 ounce of marijuana are eligible for the erasure of those convictions upon a motion to the criminal court. 

Erase Your Criminal Convictions

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Habeas Corpus

Individuals under sentence (in jail, on probation or parole) can seek relief through the habeas process. Typical habeas issues include ineffective assistance of counsel, actual innocence, jail credits and any other unfairness in the criminal justice process. See my page on habeas corpus for more information. When you are no longer under sentence, it may still be possible to vacate a conviction through a writ of error coram nobis. 

Sentence Modifications and Corrections

Sometimes sentences are legally incorrect or overly harsh. A sentenced person can file a motion to correct an illegal sentence which is heard by the sentencing judge. A sentence can also be modified at any point after being imposed. If the sentence is for more than three years of prison, then the State's Attorney (prosecutor) must agree for it it to go forward. There is also a sentence review process.

Probation Modifications

Probation terms and conditions can also be modified and probation can be terminated early through a motion. Parole and special parole can only be modified through a sentence modification. 

You Can't Change the Past, But Atty. DeMatteo Can Help You Erase Your Criminal History

Attorney Christopher DeMatteo is not just good at preventing criminal convictions--he can also help you get rid of them. He has assisted clients in earning pardons, expunging their criminal records, for charges including larceny, drug possession and robbery. If you would like to put the past behind you, contact Chris for a free case evaluation now.