According to California Penal Code Sections 4852.01 – 4852.21 (PC-4852.01) to (PC-4852.21) Certificate of Rehabilitation is a court order that attests to a person’s rehabilitation since his conviction for a particular sex misdemeanor or a felony for which he served state prison time.
Certificate of Rehabilitation doesn’t erase or seal person’s criminal record, but, it does limit the negative effects of criminal record.
Eligibility For Certificate of Rehabilitation
Eligibility for getting a Certificate of Rehabilitation include the following
- Person must have continuously live in California for the past 5 years since his release or for 3 years in case he was on parole
- Additional waiting period has passed since person was released
- Person has not been jailed or imprisoned since the end of his sentence
- Person is not currently on probation for a felony conviction.
- Person is not deemed ineligible to obtain a California Certificate of Rehabilitation.
- Person must have lived a custody-free life
- Person must show proof of rehabilitation and convince the judge that he deserve to exercise all the civil and political rights of citizenship.
When is Someone Not Eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation
A person wont be eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation in case such as
- Received a misdemeanor conviction for a crime other than a sex crime listed in Penal Code 290
- Was undergoing compulsory life parole
- Was convicted with a federal offense or with any crime outside of California
- Is currently serving in the U.S. military
- Was sentenced with the death penalty
OR in case he was convicted of any of the following crimes:
- Felony sexual battery
- Felony statutory rape
- Felony pimping or pandering
- Sexual assault or rape
- Sexual assault of a child
- Lewd acts with a child
- Continued sexual abuse of a child
- Assault with the intent to commit a sex crime
- Child molestation
- Oral copulation by force or with a child
- Sex act with a child under the age of 10
- Child molestation
- Kidnapping with the intent to commit a sex crime
Benefits of Certificate of Rehabilitation
Benefits of Certificate of Rehabilitation include the following
- Increases person’s ability to secure state licenses
- Restores civil rights, except for 2nd Amendment rights
- Serves as a hard evidence for employers that person has rehabilitated
- Prohibits employers from asking about conviction
- Prevents conviction from being used to impeach person as a witness
- Removes the requirement to register as a sex offender
Limits of Certificate of Rehabilitation
Second Amendment Rights
In case a person was convicted of a felony, he will be denied his Second Amendment rights—the right to posses or own firearms. The only way to restore these rights is a Governor’s Pardon. After getting a Certificate of Rehabilitation a person is eligible to apply for a Governor’s Pardon.
A certificate of rehabilitation, unlike an expungement, does not automatically remove person’s conviction from public databases.
Person’s past convictions still counts as a prior offense in case he commits a crime again. Additionally he must disclose his conviction if applying for a job with the State Lottery Commission, if running for public office, or if applying for a professional license.
When is a Person Eligible to Apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation?
Depending on the crime the main waiting period is 7, 9 or 10 years.
- 10 years waiting period is for any sex offense that required a person to register as a sex offender under state law.
- 9 years waiting period is for the following crimes: aggravated kidnapping, homicide, assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, acts involving explosive devices or devices that cause mass mayhem, acts or omissions that cause another person’s death under the Military & Veteran’s Code, train wrecking or derailing, and any conviction that carries life sentence.
- 7 years waiting period is for all remaining convictions.
Process of Applying for Certificate of Rehabilitation in California
The process of applying for the Certificate of Rehabilitation in California include the following filing a petition, obtaining a criminal record copy. proving evidence of rehabilitation, and attending the hearing.
- Filling the petition
According to California Penal Code Section 4852.06 person must fill the petition for Certificate of Rehabilitation in the Superior Court of his current county of residence. Person must notify the district attorney in his county of residence, as well as the district attorney of each county in which he was convicted of a felony. The notice must identify all crimes for which he is requesting rehabilitation.
- Obtaining a criminal record copy
The court will require detailed information about person’s criminal history and the crimes for which he is seeking rehabilitation. Person can get a copy of his criminal record at the court where he was convicted or at the California Department of Corrections.
- Providing evidence of rehabilitation
Person will have to provide evidence for proving that he has made positive changes in his life. Evidence can include:
- Completion of alcohol and drug counseling
- Permanent employment or education
- Residency in California
- Completion of domestic violence counseling
- Voluntary participation in behavioral counseling
- Volunteering in local community
- Providing recommendations from community officials, employers , friends and family members
- Attending the hearing
If the Superior Court schedule a hearing to consider the petition it will notify the Governor’s office and the district attorney involved in person’s conviction. The judge will consider testimony and presented evidence. This also includes the opposing arguments offered by the state.
Are you in need of legal assistance with receiving a Certificate of Rehabilitation in the state of California? Our lawyers in Los Angeles, California at KAASS LAW can provide you with all the services that you need.