Petition for 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.