What exactly is a Certificate of Rehabilitation?A Certificate of Rehabilitation is a court order establishing that a person who has been convicted of a felony in the past is now completely rehabilitated under the law.
If Ronald Dinan & Associates is successful in the acquisition of a Certificate of Rehabilitation for you, our office will automatically have it forwarded to the Governor's Office by the issuing Court. This will then constitute an automatic application for a pardon.
There is no guaranty that upon the Governor's receipt of a Certificate of Rehabilitation that a pardon will be granted, but this is the primary method of application for such a pardon.
Can I apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation?
There are three types of individuals who can apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation.
Those convicted of a felony who spent time serving their sentence in a California prison and were discharged or released on parole prior to May 13, 1943. They cannot have not been incarcerated since their release in a state penal institution and must have resided for three years in California immediately prior to filing the Petition.
Those convicted of a felony or misdemeanor sex offense pursuant to Penal Code §290 who have been expunged or dismissed per Penal Code §1203.4 and have been completely discharged from probation, parole .or custody. They cannot have not spent any time in a state penal institution, jail, or state agency since their release and cannot be on probation for the commission of any other felony. They must also have resided for five years in California immediately prior to the filing of the Petition.
Those convicted of a felony after May 13, 1943 who were sentenced to state prison and have been discharged from custody or released on parole. They must have resided for five years in California immediately prior to filing the Petition.
Am I not eligible to apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation?
People who are not eligible include:
- Those who do not meet the requirements as set forth above;
- Those who are in the military;
- Those who are committed to prison under a death sentence;
- Those who are serving mandatory life parole or those who are convicted of sex offenses under Penal Code §§286c, 288, 288(a)(c), 288.5, 289(j); or
- Those who are simply convicted of misdemeanors because their avenue of approach would be through acquiring an expungement or dismissal of their conviction (except certain misdemeanor sex offenses as previously discussed).
How long is my period of rehabilitation?
Your period of rehabilitation begins to run from the date of your discharge from incarceration, upon your release from probation, or your release from parole. The period of rehabilitation requires a minimum of five years residence in the state of California plus any additional years ordered by the court if you served consecutive sentences; two additional years if you were convicted of an offense not listed in this section (and that does not carry a life sentence) or five years if you were convicted of an offense that requires registration pursuant to Penal Code §290, with some exceptions for conviction of certain violations.
Where will paperwork be filed?
We will file paperwork in the Superior Court of your current county of residence, regardless of where the conviction occurred. This Petition is designed to notify the District Attorney in the county of your residence and the District Attorney in each county in which you were convicted of a felony offense. Once a Petition is filed, the Court will schedule a hearing on the Certificate of Rehabilitation and the Court may require an investigation by the District Attorney's office.
Testimony and various records may be produced at the hearing focusing primarily on your conduct and your behavior since being released from prison. If a successful Petition is acquired, a certified copy of your Certificate of Rehabilitation will be ordered by the Court to be automatically transmitted to the Governor's Office, which becomes an automatic application.
What will a Certificate of Rehabilitation do for me?
- Relieve certain specified sex offenders of a duty to register
- Serve as your automatic application for a pardon
- Serve as an official document to demonstrate your rehabilitation which could substantially enhance employment applications.
- Enhance your potential for becoming licensed by various state agencies.
What does my Certificate of Rehabilitation NOT do?
- Does not give an ex-felon the right to vote because this right is automatically restored to you after termination from probation or discharge from parole.
- Does not allow an ex-felon to answer on employment applications that he/she has no record of conviction. These issues are addressed in an expungement.
- Does not prevent your felony offense from being considered as a prior conviction if you are later convicted of a new offense.
- Does not erase your felony conviction or seal the criminal record. Reductions of a felony to a misdemeanor are generally accomplished in an expungement process.
If you need a Certificate of Rehabilitation, one of the best decisions you can make is to speak to a lawyer from our firm. To speak with an attorney, contact us as soon as you can!