Felony Conviction

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You asked what are the consequences of a felony conviction with respect to employment.


A convicted felon could lose a professional license or permit. But, licensing agencies are restricted in their ability to revoke licenses because a person cannot be disqualified from engaging in any occupation, profession, or business for which a state license or permit is required solely because of a prior conviction of a crime except under certain conditions.

Employers can ask job applicants whether they have been convicted of a crime although federal anti-discrimination laws place some restrictions on the use of criminal histories. State law also prohibits employers, including the state and its political subdivisions, from taking certain actions against people who have their conviction records erased by an absolute pardon.

In addition, a number of statutes apply to people convicted of certain felonies or types of crimes.

1. The State Board of Education (SBE) cannot issue or renew, and must revoke, the certificate, authorization, or permit of someone convicted of certain crimes. The SBE can also take one of these actions if the person is convicted of a crime of moral turpitude or of such a nature that the board feels that allowing the holder to have the credential would impair the credential's standing.

2. The Department of Children and Families must deny a license or approval of a foster family or prospective adoptive family if any member of the family's household was convicted of a crime that falls within certain categories, which can include felonies.

3. Someone convicted under federal or state law of a crime involving possession or sale of a controlled substance is not eligible for federal assistance for higher education expenses for certain periods.

In addition, private organizations may also consider a person's criminal background. For example, Little League recently adopted regulations to check volunteers and employees for convictions of crimes against or involving minors.


Many statutes authorize government agencies to revoke or suspend licenses or permits for conviction of a felony. But the law also restricts the ability of agencies to do so. A person is not "disqualified to practice, pursue or engage in any occupation, trade, vocation, profession or business for which a license, permit, certificate, or registration is required to be issued by the state of Connecticut or any of its agencies solely because of a prior conviction of a crime" (CGS § 46a-80(a)).

Connecticut law declares the public policy of encouraging employers to hire qualified ex-offenders (CGS § 46a-79). A person is not disqualified from state employment solely because of a prior conviction of a crime. The state can deny employment or a license, permit, certificate, or registration if the person is found unsuitable after considering (1) the nature of the crime, (2) information relating to the degree of rehabilitation, and (3) the time elapsed since the conviction

or release (CGS § 46a-80). These statutes (CGS § 46a-79 et seq. ) prevail over agencies' authority to deny licenses based on the lack of good moral character and to suspend or revoke licenses based on conviction of a crime. But they do not apply to law enforcement agencies, although an agency can adopt such a policy (CGS § 46a-81).

Licenses, Permits And Conviction Of A Felony

Many licensing and permit statutes authorize an agency to suspend or revoke a license or permit based on conviction of a felony, including the following.

1. Architects (CGS § 20-294).

2. Private detectives, watchmen, guards, and patrol services (CGS § 29-158).

3. Professions under the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Health specifically including healing arts, medicine and surgery, osteopathy, chiropractic, natureopathy, podiatry, physical therapists, nursing, nurse's aides, dentistry, optometry, opticians, psychologists, marital and family therapists,...
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