If you received the benefit of a dismissal, acquittal or a nolle, be sure to clean up the mess, andsecure your booking photo, paperwork, arrest reports, etc..
In Connecticut, 20 days after all charges are dismissed, or 13 months after a case is nolled, you should to take the additional step and retrieve your booking photo, paperwork, arrest reports, etc. are erased. A simple way to accomplish this is write the arresting police department and request that the agency return to you all booking paperwork. Below you will find a sample letter format, modeled after letters my office has sent, on behalf of clients.
"My name is \___________, of _________ Street, _______, Connecticut. My date of birth is _______. Last year, I had a case pending at the Hartford Superior Court known as State of Connecticut v. _______, with docket number ______________. On January 12, 2012, the court entered a nolle to all charges then pending against me in said matter._
Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Section 54-142a(c):
“Whenever any charge in a criminal case has been nolled in the Superior Court, or in the Court of Common Pleas, if at least thirteen months have elapsed since such nolle, all police and court records and records of the state’s or prosecuting attorney or the prosecuting grand juror pertaining to such charge shall be erased."
More than thirteen months have passed since the nolle entered. In accordance with C.G.S. Section 54-142a(c), I am formally requesting that all records pertaining to the aforementioned criminal matter be erased immediately. Also, please notify the Connecticut Department of Public Safety, and NCIC that all these records have been erased, pursuant to C.G.S. Section 54-142a(c).
Lastly, please forward to me the original (and all copies) of my booking photos, fingerprint cards, and all other booking related documentation.
Thank you for your time, and I await your response."
Please note, C.G.S. 54-142a (e)(3), commonly known as the "Erasure Statute" permits someone to swear under oath that they've never been arrested. Specifically, it reads:
"Any person who shall have been the subject of such an erasure shall be deemed to have never been arrested within the meaning of the general statutes with respect to the proceedings so erased and may so swear under oath."
Be aware, however, that if you are in federal court, or another jurisdiction, the erasure statute doesn't always apply. As such, you should seek counsel in that particular state for advice.
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