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Petition for Certificate of Rehabilitation

Clear your criminal record through a petition for a Certificate of Rehabilitation.

In California, there are very limited ways to clear your criminal record. Unfortunately, public policy favors punishing offenders for the rest of their lives by imposing the ongoing stigma of a criminal conviction. One bad decision, and you could be denied housing, a job, loans, professional licenses, and many other restrictions, particularly if you’ve got a Penal Code section 290 requirement for sex offender registration.

One possible way to clear your record is through a Petition for a Certificate of Rehabilitation. Essentially, under certain circumstances, you may petition the court to recognize that you have been rehabilitated. Once the court finds that you’ve been rehabilitated, the matter is instantly forwarded to the Governor’s office as a petition for pardon. However, the certificate alone (prior to a pardon) provides for a number of benefits, such as enabling you to apply for state licenses and relieving you from sex offender registration.

There are certain requirements before you apply, which depends on the type of crime committed. For example, you must remain crime-free during the intervening rehabilitation period, which can be anywhere between seven and ten years depending on the crime. You must also be a continuous residence for three to five years prior to filing, also depending on the type of conviction.

This area of law is complicated and requires the assistance of a lawyer. Call Santa Rosa Criminal Defense Attorney Gabriel Quinnan of Quinnan Law to help you determine your eligibility.


Police Abuse of Authority and 42 U.S.C. section 1983 Claims

Policing the Police; You CAN Get Compensated For The Deprivation Of Your Constitutional Rights.

With the advent of cell phone video and body cameras, the public has become increasingly aware of a disturbing amount of police violence and dishonesty. For years, my clients have complained of serious deprivation of their rights, from factual dishonesty in their investigations to fabrication of evidence to physical abuse. For example, it was recently discovered that a crime lab in New Jersey had been fabricating lab results, possibly resulting in thousands of convictions overturned: It must be remembered that the reality of those convictions means years and years of jail for innocent people. And, of course, there are the almost daily reports of police physical abuse.

When someone’s constitutional rights have been deprived, what, if anything can be done? Thankfully, both federal and state law provides remedies, commonly referred to section 1983 actions. In 1983 claims, one must show that the officer, acting under the color of authority, deprived a citizen of his rights. The important thing to remember is that, while the cause of action is similar between state and federal law, state actions require extra steps to ensure that you are able to even bring your case to court. The first thing you must do is file a Tort Claim, which is usually a standard form provided by the city or county in which the law enforcement agent is employed. That form must be filled out within six  months, or you will have abandoned the claim. My advice is to have an attorney fill out the form on your behalf so that you can avoid making any statements that they can use against you later.

Once the claim is rejected, you will have two years from the date of the incident to file your federal and state claim. The federal action adopts statute of limitations of the state in which the incident occurred, which in California is two years. Once the matter is properly filed, expect to spend a few years fighting tooth and nail over the complaint. In recent years, local governments have been loathe to admit liability in these cases and will put up a significant fight before settling; so do not expect a quick pay day.

Santa Rosa criminal defense attorney Gabriel M. Quinnan can help you seek damages for police abuses. While you cannot get back the time and effort spent originally defending yourself, he can help ensure you get compensated.


gun rights, second amendment law

Restoring your gun rights in California in an age of control

You’ve celebrated the recent passing of Proposition 64, which retroactively reduced your felony marijuana cultivation conviction to a simple misdemeanor. You petition the court for your reduction. Additionally, you ask for and are granted termination of probation and expungement. It was the only conviction on your record that made you ineligible to possess firearms. After obtaining the appropriate orders from the court, you immediately make plans to purchase a firearm, as is your constitutional right. You go to the gun store, pick out a nice varmint gun for the animals feasting on your chickens. You are denied.

The Department of Justice is doing everything it can to keep you in the prohibited persons category with regards to gun ownership, despite the state law that says otherwise and in the face of constitutional protections that create a fundamental right to bear arms. They are taking a page out of the federal government’s playbook by claiming that they have no resources to determine whether or not an applicant is truly eligible. In essence, you must wait indefinitely until, in their good time, they offer you due process. In many cases, it has amounted to years of waiting.

Lawsuits have been filed to end the delays, but, so far, the State of California has been unresponsive. Per usual, our system of government is less concerned with following the law than getting re-elected. Thus, the very people granted the authority to enforce the law will, once again, violate the law through intentional inaction. This is legislating via executive authority and violates the separation of powers doctrine.

What can be done? In my cases, I have taken the matter back to Superior Court and asked the judges to sign an order granting my client’s rights back. Next, I send the signed order along with the administrative appeal paperwork demanding they remove him/her from their list of prohibited persons. If they do nothing, I file suit and let DOJ explain why they refuse to act in accordance with the law.

If you have a gun rights issue, contact Santa Rosa criminal defense attorney Gabriel M. Quinnan to evaluate your case.