Free, At Last, To Earn – Lamont Signs Clean Slate Law, Wiping Out Low-Level Convictions

News release from Governor Lamont:

Governor Ned Lamont today announced that more than 80,000 people in Connecticut are expected to have convictions for certain old, low-level offenses automatically cleared from their criminal records over the next month as the state nears full implementation of the recently enacted Clean Slate Law.

Approved by the Connecticut General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Lamont in 2021, the Clean Slate Law was adopted to remove barriers to jobs, education, and housing that people who have been convicted of low-level offenses have often faced, provided that they have completed their sentences and have remained crime-free for a specified number of years. The goal is to empower people to advance their careers, obtain stable housing, and experience the successful second chance they’ve earned.

“Turning your life around after making a mistake isn’t easy, but many people who’ve been convicted of low-level offenses and haven’t committed any other crimes find those convictions haunting them for decades, sometimes leading to situations in which they are unable to obtain employment, are prevented from finding a place to live, or are denied educational opportunities,” Governor Lamont said. “The idea that minor crimes should remain a part of someone’s permanent record is outdated, ineffective, and can cause more harm than good. Connecticut’s Clean Slate Law is about removing barriers that prevent people from leading successful and productive lives.”

To implement the law and provide for the automated erasure of criminal records, staff from Connecticut’s judicial branch and executive branch state agencies along with criminal justice system stakeholders have worked over the last two and a half years to perform intensive information technology system upgrades that allow criminal justice agencies to identify eligible convictions and then erase them in an automated manner pursuant to the Clean Slate Law. That system is now live and over the next month, people who meet the Clean Slate Law’s eligibility requirements will have their offenses automatically erased from their records. No application or petition is required from those who meet the requirements.

It is expected that the system will initially identify for erasure approximately 178,499 offenses from more than 80,000 people. Record erasure does not mean deletion or destruction; instead, erasure causes a record to be flagged for nondisclosure to anyone other than the clerk holding the records.

The process to erase the vast majority of eligible records is expected to be completed by the end of January 2024.

Approximately 28,752 additional convictions for operation while under the influence (Connecticut General Statutes § 14-227a), for which Clean Slate eligibility was modified in the 2023 legislative session, are expected to be erased by the end of March 2024. Additionally, another group of approximately 62,364 convictions will require manual confirmation due to imperfections in historical data. Those convictions will be processed manually over the course of the first half of 2024.

The erasure of these old, low-level convictions comes in addition to the 43,754 low-level drug possession (mostly cannabis) convictions that the state already erased earlier this year pursuant to June 2021 Special Session Public Act 21-1, which legalized and safely regulates the adult-use of cannabis.

Eligibility for automated erasure of old, low-level offenses

People eligible for erasure of old, low-level offenses under the Clean Slate Law include those who have not had any other criminal convictions for seven or ten years (depending on the conviction to be erased), have completed sentences for all crimes for which that person has been convicted, and meet other eligibility criteria under the laws.

Eligible offenses include:

  • Any classified or unclassified misdemeanor (imprisonment less than one year), with a seven-year waiting period from the person’s most recent conviction.
  • Class D, E, or unclassified felonies (imprisonment less than five years), or operating under the influence (General Statutes § 14-227a), with a ten-year waiting period from the person’s most recent conviction.

To be automatically erased, the offense must have been committed on or after January 1, 2000. Earlier offenses may be erased via a petition to the courts under similar eligibility rules.

Some specific charges are excluded from erasure, as is any sexually violent offense and nonviolent sexual offense. Any offense designated as a family violence crime is also excluded. Convictions cannot be erased on a person’s record unless the person has no pending criminal charges and the person has completed all periods of incarceration, probation, and parole imposed since January 1, 2000.

Some of the most common felonies to be erased are burglary in the 3rd degree, larceny in the 3rd degree, and forgery in the 2nd degree. Some of the most common misdemeanors to be erased are larceny in the 6th degree (shoplifting), DUI, and failure to appear.

Eligibility for automated erasure of low-level cannabis possession offenses

Earlier this year, 43,754 convictions for low-level cannabis possession were automatically erased from people’s records under recently enacted provisions in the law that legalized adult-use cannabis. Certain other cannabis convictions can be erased with a court petition.

Convictions for violations of Connecticut General Statutes § 21a-279(c) imposed between January 1, 2000, and September 30, 2015, were automatically erased at the beginning of 2023. People who meet those criteria do not need to do anything to have those convictions erased.

Convictions for any of the following violations can be erased by petitioning the court:

  • Convictions for violations of Connecticut General Statutes § 21a-279 for possession of less than or equal to 4 ounces of a cannabis-type substance imposed before January 1, 2000, and between October 1, 2015, and June 30, 2021.
  • Convictions for violations of Connecticut General Statutes § 21a-267(a) for possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia for cannabis imposed before July 1, 2021.
  • Convictions for violations of Connecticut General Statutes § 21a-277(b) imposed before July 1, 2021, for manufacturing, selling, possessing with intent to sell, or giving or administering to another person a cannabis-type substance and the amount involved was less than or equal to four ounces or six plants grown inside your home for personal use.

More information about the Clean Slate Law

The Clean Slate Law was adopted in Public Act 21-32 and then amended by Public Act 21-33Public Act 22-26Public Act 23-134, and Public Act 23-169.

For more detailed information about the law, visit



  1. Great Job Governor, now if you can Ban the sale of Nitrous Oxide also known colloquially as laughing gas, Maybe we can save a few kids, and the Possessing of laughing gas should be made a crime.
    Nitrous oxide, is used in medicine as an anesthetic, and also as a propellant for whipped cream canisters.
    Given concerns about the use of Nitrous Oxide by young people, it is sold openly by stores all over our State

  2. As a convicted felon of what 40 years or so, I say: Fuck you Connecticut, too late for me at the age of 59. Free, say you Lennie. Marijuana use, sale and possesion is still federal crime; there’s no specific mention of NCIC records/files. For those who served time since the time the state started collecting DNA from inmates, part of them is still being held by the state and feds. Private employers can still find ways to find records of arrests or convictions via internet searches. Local Eyes can now breath a sign of relief. Lennie, how about an OIB party with a free drink and a free joint? I’ll smoke to that good old Lennie Greenmaldi stuff.

  3. Yet I see you got/had a city job with a pension. On certain aspects this makes sense. Especially since it was used as a means of oppression, logically speaking.

    Speedy perhaps a better use of the condition, if not already, is to have employment standards/law baring someone’s criminal record (after a period of time/depending on the crimes) being used against them for employment and other things that impede their progression in life.

    Imagine if Han Solo wasn’t able to redeem himself. He wouldn’t have been able to save a galaxy. Good employment Han. 🤣


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