Lawyer and client listening to judgePenal Code 4852.01 states that, if a person was convicted of a felony and was committed to a prison, they may file for a certificate of rehabilitation and pardon under certain circumstances. But what is a certificate of rehabilitation and what does it mean for somebody in California?

When you obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation in California, you have a chance at better employment options, better chances in the realm of professional licensing, and you may not have to register as a sexual offender any longer. However, there is one little requirement needed to receive this certificate: depending on the crime, you may have to wait years to receive one. For instance, if you committed murder or aggravated kidnapping, you must wait nine years to file for a certificate. Sex crimes and indecent exposure could mean up to ten years, and any other unrelated crimes could take seven years. No matter what, the moment you are granted your Certificate of Rehabilitation, you will have your civil and political rights restored.

How to File and What Happens

The first thing that you and your attorney must consider is where you live because where you file for the Petition for a Certificate is based on the county where you reside. The judge has every say over the matter to grant your petition, where it will then be forwarded to the California Governor and you will receive a pardon. This pardon will not be automatic, but will be at the discretion of the Governor. An investigation will typically ensue to show whether or not you should receive the pardon. You should always have a knowledgeable attorney on your side for this process, because it can be difficult and complicated.

Even though a Certificate does not seal your criminal record, you will be given benefits through the process. You may be more likely to obtain the job of your dreams and move on with your life. If you have been convicted of a crime in California but you meet the requirements for obtaining a Certificate, you can call us today to speak to an attorney you trust.