Connecticut Considers a Move Towards Automatic Expungement with New Bill

By Michael Klazema on 4/25/2019

The consequences of a criminal conviction can last far beyond a prison sentence or probation term. With most business owners and even landlords conducting background checks, criminal records can prove to be a barrier to employment, stable shelter, and much more. The challenges inherent in living with a criminal record have led to the rise of expungement programs, which strike certain charges from a person's criminal record once those charges meet state guidelines. Expungement often requires an application and an in-depth review by the authorities. 

In Connecticut, lawmakers want their state's expungement program to promote a fair chance as originally intended. According to the Hartford Courant, the state sees an approximately $1.2 billion annual loss of economic activity due to opportunities missed as a result of a criminal record. The Connecticut State Senate is currently considering the bill, dubbed the "Clean Slate" law, following its passing out of committee by a slim margin. 

The new rules would automate the expungement process, removing the need for an application or review process that often resulted in denials. After three years, misdemeanor crimes would vanish from a person's public record; nonviolent felonies would be expunged after five years. These are the same eligibility periods currently enshrined in law but with much of the red tape removed--individuals would still need to avoid further arrests and convictions to keep their records clean. 

Petitioners seeking to have violent felonies expunged would still require a case-by-case review. Once expunged, the records would not be visible in a typical background check, such as the state-level reports offered by

Some opponents of the Clean Slate bill contend that it indiscriminately "wipes away" serious crimes and disrespects victims while others take issue with the preservation of the 3- and 5-year terms. Craig Fishbein, a Republican state representative, believed that a 10-year crime-free period was more appropriate for automatic expungement. Advocates countered that the terms only begin after an individual completes a prison sentence and thus has already faced the consequences of the crime.

As Connecticut's legislative session continues, the bill will soon go up for debate before the full State Senate. The bill's sponsors and advocacy groups both say they believe in the potential positive impact on the state, including reduced rates of recidivism and a larger labor pool. Whether the bill will reach Governor Ned Lamont's desk remains to be seen.

While Connecticut considers making criminal record expungement automatic, many states maintain more complicated processes for accessing this opportunity for a second chance. For those with past criminal charges, expungement can help to open doors and break down barriers. 

At, we provide a pathway to accessing the independent MyClearStart service, which helps to evaluate your initial eligibility for expungement in your state. Should you have a case, MyClearStart can put you in touch with a lawyer for taking the next steps. 


Additional source:

Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • May 16 Following the passing of a new federal law, daycare providers in North Dakota found themselves constrained and struggling to meet demand. In response, the state has streamlined its process.
  • May 14

    After dismissing several black workers at an Illinois distribution center, Walmart is facing EEOC complaints that claim its background check policies have a disparate impact on minorities.


  • May 09 Aiming to create a fairer rental economy, Colorado's governor recently signed legislation putting new limits on how landlords can use background checks.
  • May 07 A lawyer is gathering clients for a potential lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America. The clients range from 15 to 75 years of age and have all alleged sexual abuse against BSA leaders.
  • May 02 Following a high-profile IPO, and in an ongoing effort to improve the real and perceived safety of its ridesharing services, Lyft has joined the growing list of companies using ongoing criminal monitoring.
  • April 30 97 percent of employers run at least one type of background check. Are there any jobs available with no background check required?
  • April 30 New programs and presentations in Indiana are helping individuals in the state learn more about criminal record expungement. Indiana passed a “second chance law” regarding expungement in 2013.
  • April 25 With a new "Clean Slate" bill before the Connecticut legislature, lawmakers must consider whether to automatically expunge certain criminal records. Proponents say it will broaden opportunities and reduce recidivism.
  • April 23 Hospital background checks are an important safeguard for protecting patients and shielding hospitals from liability and legal risk. Here are some of the most common healthcare background checks.
  • April 23 A property management company hired a maintenance worker last fall because her background check came back clean. In reality, she had convictions for identity theft, drug possession, forgery, and more.