A request for a court order declaring rehabilitation of a prior offender is described under California Penal Code 4852.01 to 4852.21. If granted, the individual receives a Certificate of Rehabilitation. The Certificate of Rehabilitation declares that a person convicted of a felony or misdemeanor sex offense in California has been rehabilitated.
This is not the same as a dismissal. A sentencing to state prison or a sentencing within the authority of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation under Penal Code Section 1203.4, or 1204.4a means you are eligible for a certificate of rehabilitation, not a dismissal of your prior convictions.
A Certificate of Rehabilitation does not seal or destroy prior criminal convictions. Instead, it lets prospective employers and associates know that your criminal activity was in the past and that today you are a law-abiding citizen. A Certificate of Rehabilitation automatically makes a person eligible for a California Governor’s Pardon.
A felon convicted of the use of a dangerous weapon still has no right to ownership of firearms, but the certificate can prevent state licensing agencies from automatically denying you access to licensing for employment endeavors. Depending upon your case, a Certificate of Rehabilitation could end the need for sex offender registration. Sometimes this requires a Governor’s Pardon.
A person requesting a Certificate of Rehabilitation must comply with specific requirements for filing of a Certificate of Rehabilitation.
1. Prior conviction of a felony.
2. A resident of the state of California for five years prior to filing for a Certificate of Rehabilitation.
3. Must have been released from custody, parole and probation and be free of repeat incarcerations.
1. Prior conviction of a misdemeanor different from those listed under Penal Code 290.
2. Conviction of a sex crime listed under 286(c), 288, 288a(c), 288.5, or 289(j).
3. Life sentence has been paroled.
4. Currently serving in the military.
Eligibility for a Certificate of Rehabilitation requires that seven years have passed since your date of release from prison, not the date of your conviction or the date you were released from parole. The seven years repeats itself from your new time of release if you violated your parole and were sent back to prison.
Preparation for application for a Certificate of Rehabilitation
Once eligibility is determined, a Los Angeles criminal attorney can file a petition for you with the California Superior Court. The petition includes:
1. Application forms to fill out.
2. Letters attesting to your character.
3. Letters proving your training, counseling, schooling or employment since release.
The burden of proof is on you, but a Los Angeles criminal attorney will be able to assist you in gathering your evidence of rehabilitation and presenting it in an orderly and professional manner to the court.
If you feel that you qualify for a California Certificate of Rehabilitation, please contact a Los Angeles criminal attorney today to discuss your plans and receive legal counsel about your application to the California Superior Court. A Certificate of Rehabilitation is a vital key to your future as a law-abiding citizen.
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