How to Apply for a California Certificate of Rehabilitation
Penal Code 4852.01 - 4852.21 PC


A Certificate of Rehabilitation (“COR”) in California s a court finding that someone has been rehabilitated following a criminal conviction. It also acts as an automatic application for a California's governor's pardon.1

Benefits of a Certificate of Rehabilitation in California

In addition to acting as an automatic application for a governor's pardon, benefits of a California Certificate of Rehabilitation include:

Who is eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation in California?

Eligibility for a Certificate of Rehabilitation is somewhat complicated. In general, it is available to people who were convicted of:

  • A felony and were sentenced to a California state penal institution or agency (such as prison), or
  • A felony and were sentenced to probation AND the conviction has been expunged,2 or
  • A misdemeanor sex offense listed in Penal Code 290 AND the conviction has been expunged.3

They must also have:

  • Resided in California for at least five (5) years, and
  • Been rehabilitated for an additional period of between two (2) and five (5) years following the release from custody, California probation, or California parole.

The specific rehabilitation periods depend on the crime of which the defendant was convicted, as set forth in the following table:

Type of Offense

Period of Rehabilitation Required to Receive Certificate of Rehabilitation

Murder, aggravated kidnapping, train wrecking, assault likely to cause great bodily injury, acts involving explosives or destructive devices, other offenses carrying a life sentence

Nine years (5 years residency + an additional 4 years)

Sex crimes requiring PC 290 registration, EXCEPT certain PC 311 child porn crimes, sexual exploitation of a child, and PC 314 obscene conduct/indecent exposure

Ten years (5 years residency + an additional 5 years)

All other crimes (including certain PC 311 child porn crimes, sexual exploitation of a child, and PC 314 obscene conduct/indecent exposure)

 Seven years (5 years residency +    an additional 2 years)

To help you better understand how and why to get a Certificate of Rehabilitation, our California criminal defense lawyers discuss the following, below:

Male judge bringing down his gavel
A California Certificate of Rehabilitation is a court’s finding that someone has moved beyond his or her criminal history

1. What is a Certificate of Rehabilitation?

A California Certificate of Rehabilitation (“COR”) is one method of clearing a criminal record in California.

A COR does not erase a criminal record. But it is a court order stating that the recipient is now a law-abiding citizen.4

As Ventura criminal defense attorney John Murray5 explains:

"A Certificate of Rehabilitation tells society that you have moved on to become an honest, upstanding member of the community.6 And unlike a motion to seal and destroy a California arrest record, a COR applies to actual criminal convictions--not just arrests."

The process and eligibility for obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation are set forth in Penal Code sections 4852.01 - 4852.21 PC.

We discuss eligibility in Section 3 below and provide step-by-step instructions in Section 6, below.

2. The benefits of a California Certificate of Rehabilitation

A Certificate of Rehabilitation offers many of the same benefits as a governor's pardon – but not all of them. It acts as an automatic application for a governor's pardon and is the only way for most people to obtain one.7

A Certificate of Rehabilitation also offers additional benefits in and of itself. These include:

  • State licensing agencies may not deny a license based solely on a conviction if the applicant has obtained a COR for the offense;8 and
  • Some sex offenders are relieved of their duty to register as a sex offender (as discussed in Section 2.1, below.9

2.1. Relief from the duty to register as a sex offender

A Certificate of Rehabilitation relieves the recipient of the duty to register as a sex offender as long as:

  1. The recipient is not in custody, on parole, or on probation, and
  2. The offense is one listed in Penal Code 290 other than:
  • Kidnapping committed with the intent to commit rape, sodomy, lewd acts with a minor, oral copulation, or sexual penetration with an object;
  • Assault with intent to commit a sex crime;
  • Felony sexual battery,
  • Rape / sexual assault (various penal code sections, felony conviction),
  • Felony pimping or pandering,
  • Human trafficking of a child,
  • Sexual assault of a child,
  • Felony sodomy by force or with a child,
  • Lewd acts on a child,
  • Oral copulation by force or with a child,
  • Continuous sexual abuse of a child,
  • A sexual act with a child under ten, or
  • Annoying or molesting a child.10

The only way to be relieved of the duty to register as a sex offender for one of the above offenses is by obtaining a full pardon from California's governor.

3. Who is eligible for Certificate of Rehabilitation?

People are eligible for a California Certificate of Rehabilitation if:

  1. They have not been incarcerated since completion or dismissal of their sentence;
  2. They are not on probation for a felony;
  3. They have resided in California for at least five (5) continuous years immediately before petitioning for a COR;
  4. They have been rehabilitated -- usually for a minimum number of years -- following their release from custody, probation, or California parole (as set forth in Section 6.3, below);
  5. They are not otherwise ineligible to receive a certificate (as discussed in Section 4, below); AND
  6. At least one of the following applies for each offense the COR will apply to:
  • They were convicted of a felony and sentenced to prison or another California state penal institution or agency,11 or
  • They were convicted of a felony and sentenced to probation AND the conviction has been expunged,12 or
  • They were convicted of a misdemeanor sex offense listed in Penal Code 290 AND the conviction has been expunged.13
Young Asian female U.S. Marine Corps soldier and African American male officer saluting
Members of the military are not eligible to receive a California Certificate of Rehabilitation

4. Who is ineligible for a COR?

People are not eligible for a California Certificate of Rehabilitation if:

  • They were convicted of a misdemeanor offense (other than a sex offense specified in Penal Code 290);14
  • They are serving mandatory life parole,
  • They were sentenced to death,
  • They are in the military,
  • They committed a federal crime or a crime in any other jurisdiction other than California,
  • They were convicted of any of the following sex crimes:
    • Penal Code 286(c), sodomy with a child or sodomy by force or threat,
    • Penal Code 288, lewd acts with a child under 14 (a.k.a. child molestation),
    • Penal Code 288a(c), oral copulation with a child or oral copulation by force or threat,
    • Penal Code 288.5, continuous sexual abuse of a child, or
    • Penal Code 289(j), forcible sexual penetration of a child;15 or
  • They were convicted of an otherwise eligible sex crime and the court determines they are an ongoing threat to minors.16

People who are ineligible for a COR due to a sex crime involving children may still be eligible to obtain a traditional (direct) pardon from the California governor.17

5. How long must someone wait before applying for a Certificate of Rehabilitation?

Applicants for a Certificate of Rehabilitation must be able to prove a "satisfactory period of rehabilitation." A "satisfactory period of rehabilitation" is defined generally as:

  • Residency of five (5) continuous years in California immediately before applying,18 PLUS
  • An additional two (2) to five (5) years, depending on the crime of which the defendant was convicted (discussed below). 19

The rehabilitation period begins running on the date on which the defendant:

  • Completes parole or probation,
  • Is released from community supervision, or
  • Is released from mandatory supervision.20

Note that the rehabilitation period is normally the MINIMUM period that must have passed in order for a defendant to receive a certificate of rehabilitation.

It is not a guarantee that the defendant's petition will be granted.

Also, regardless of how much time has passed, the petitioner must have resided in California continuously for the 5-year period immediately preceding the filing of the petition.

Carl was convicted of indecent exposure, California Penal Code 314 PC. He was sentenced to a year of summary (misdemeanor) probation, which he successfully completed.

Carl then applied for and received a dismissal (expungement) of his offense. The expungement took another year.

Carl then moved to Nevada for the next three years, where he worked hard and stayed out of trouble. Then he moved back to California, where he has lived for the last four years.

Even though Carl has been rehabilitated for more than the required seven years (see Section 5.3, below) and he has lived in California for a total of five years since being released from probation, he is not eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation.

To obtain a COR Carl must have resided for five years continuously immediately before applying for the certificate. But he has only lived in California for four years since returning from Nevada. So he will have to wait another year before he is eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation.

Man’s hands covering mouth of scared young Asian girl
People convicted of sex crimes against children are not eligible for a California Certificate of Rehabilitation. But they may be able to seek a governor’s pardon.

5.1. Crimes with a nine-year waiting period

Certain serious felonies (other than sex crimes) require at least a nine (9) year-period before someone can apply for a COR. This includes the five-year residency requirement plus a rehabilitation period of an additional four (4) years.

Crimes to which the nine-year period applies include:             

  • Penal Code 187, murder,
  • Penal Code 209, aggravated kidnapping,
  • Penal Code 219, derailing or wrecking a train,
  • Penal Code 4500, assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury,
  • Penal Code 12310, use of explosives or destructive devices causing death, mayhem, or great bodily injury,
  • Military and Veterans Code 1672(a), acting or failing to act so as to cause another person's death, or
  • Any other offense that carries a life sentence.21

5.2. Crimes with a ten-year waiting period

Certain sex crimes require at least a ten (10) year-period before someone can apply for a COR. This includes the five-year residency requirement plus a rehabilitation period of an additional five (5) years.

Crimes to which the ten-year period applies include all California sex crimes for which sex offender registration is required22 other than:

  • Certain violations of California's child pornography laws under Penal Code 311.2,
  • Violation of California's laws against "sexual exploitation of a child,” or
  • Penal Code 314, obscene conduct / indecent exposure.23

(These last three offenses require a two (2)-year additional period, as noted in Section 5.3., below).

5.3. Crimes with a seven-year waiting period

All other offenses require a total of seven (7)-year rehabilitation period before someone can apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation. 24

This includes the five-year residency requirement plus a rehabilitation period of an additional two (2) years.

5.4. Waiver of the rehabilitation period in exceptional cases

Judges have the right to grant an application for a certificate of rehabilitation before the applicable period of rehabilitation if it would serve the interests of justice.25

This waiver of the period of rehabilitation is not permitted, however, if the offense was one that required the applicant to register as a sex offender.26

6. How to apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation in California

People who meet the eligibility requirements may file for a Certificate of Rehabilitation at any time after the minimum rehabilitation period has passed. 27

But keep in mind that even if the minimum period has passed, an applicant must still have lived continuously in California for five years immediately before applying.28

6.1. Obtaining and filing a petition for a COR

A petition for a certificate of rehabilitation can be obtained from the Superior Court in the county where the applicant resides.

Applicants can find their local court at the Judicial Branch of California's "Find My Court" webpage.

6.2. Obtaining a copy of a criminal record

Along with a petition for a Certificate of Rehabilitation, an applicant must submit information regarding each conviction the court will consider. Information that must be supplied includes:

  • The date of each conviction,
  • The county in which the conviction occurred,
  • The specific charge(s) the applicant was convicted of,
  • The sentence handed down, and
  • The date of release from prison or jail (if applicable), and
  • The date of discharge from probation or parole.

Note that regardless of the number of convictions to be considered, only a single petition need be filed.

Front of court building with ornate columns and the words “Court House” on the pediment
People can obtain a copy of their criminal record from the court where they were convicted or from the California Department of Justice

Where can I get a copy of my criminal record?

Applicants for a COR can get a copy of their criminal record either:

Instructions for obtaining a criminal record for the DOJ are available at the California Office of the Attorney General website.

There is a $25 fee to obtain a criminal record from the DOJ.

6.3. How much does it cost to get a California Certificate of Rehabilitation?

There is no filing fee and there are no court costs in connection with getting a certificate of rehabilitation.29

If the applicant is represented by his or her personal attorney, the cost of the lawyer will be at the applicant's expense (unless the lawyer is working pro bono). 30

6.4. Do I need to be represented by a lawyer?

Applicants for a Certificate of Rehabilitation do not need to be represented by a lawyer. But they are entitled to be represented by one.

Remember -- the choice of whether to grant a Certificate of Rehabilitation is completely within the court's discretion.

So using the services of a lawyer to help with a certificate of rehabilitation is highly recommended.

What if I can't afford a lawyer?

If the petitioner cannot afford an attorney, he/she has the right to be represented by public counsel or an adult probation officer.31

The applicant also has the right to receive counsel and assistance from all rehabilitative agencies. These include:

6.5. Will there be a hearing?

The court will usually schedule a hearing to help the judge decide whether to grant a Certificate of Rehabilitation. If the court elects to hold a hearing, it will notify:

  • The governor's office, and
  • The district attorney of each county in which the applicant was convicted.33

These parties may or may not choose to contest the granting of a certificate.

The applicant may be represented by a lawyer at the hearing as described above.

What happens at the hearing?

At the hearing, the applicant or his/her attorney will present evidence in favor of a Certificate of Rehabilitation. Most of the time, the judge will require that the applicant personally attend the hearing.

Whenever possible, our criminal defense attorneys try to meet with the prosecutor before the hearing in an attempt to gather their support.

The support of the prosecuting agency can be a powerful factor in convincing the judge to issue a favorable decision.

One male and one female lawyer talking to a female judge with an American flag in the background
An applicant will usually be granted a hearing to try to persuade the judge to grant a California Certificate of Rehabilitation

6.6. Factors the judge will consider

The court may consider any relevant evidence in deciding whether to grant a Certificate of Rehabilitation. Evidence the petitioner will want to submit to the court often includes:

  • Proof that the petitioner is employed or enrolled in school,
  • Work and education history,
  • Proof of volunteer work,
  • Letters of recommendation from friends, family, employers, co-workers, teachers, prison psychologists, and others,
  • A statement of the reason the petitioner is seeking the COR,
  • Proof of residence, and
  • Anything else that would help to establish the petitioner's good character, rehabilitation and eligibility.

The court will also look at:

  • The trial record and/or record of court proceedings,
  • The petitioner's criminal history (including the facts and severity of the crime),34
  • The petitioner's prison record,
  • How long it has been since the petitioner completed probation or parole,
  • Family and community ties, and
  • Arguments (if any) presented by the D.A.35

6.7. How long does it take to get a COR?

From start to finish, the process of obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation is usually about 2-6 months.

Typically, it takes about 120 days from filing the petition to the date of the hearing. But it varies from county to county.

An experienced California criminal lawyer can help applicants determine how long it will take to process their applications.

7. What happens when the court grants a Certificate of Rehabilitation?

When the court grants a Certificate of Rehabilitation, it forwards a copy to:

Note that the governor may not grant a pardon to someone convicted of two or more felonies unless a majority of the judges of the Supreme Court recommend it.37

7.1. Automatic application for a governor's pardon

When a Certificate of Rehabilitation is granted, it automatically becomes an application for a California governor's pardon.38 No further action by the applicant is needed.

A governor's pardon can confer several additional benefits, including:

The governor's office may or may not choose to seek additional information from the petitioner or the Parole Board.40

The Governor is not legally required to seek any such information or to grant a pardon.41

7.2. What happens to a criminal record after a COR has been granted?

A Certificate of Rehabilitation does not expunge or erase the recipient's criminal record. But once it has been granted, the Department of Justice will forward a copy to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).42

The recipient's criminal record will then reflect that a Certificate of Rehabilitation has been granted in connection with the specified offense(s).

8. What can I do if the court denies my application?

If the court denies a petition for a Certificate of Rehabilitation, the petitioner can appeal the order.

But unlike filing a petition, there is a fee to file an appeal. And since granting a petition is within the court's discretion, an appeal is unlikely to be successful.

So a better option for most people is usually to wait and try again at a later date.

9. Can a COR keep me from being deported?

A California Certificate of Rehabilitation does not prevent a crime from being used to deport a non-citizen. But getting one is often the first step to obtaining a California governor's pardon, which often does (unless the conviction is for a California drug crime).

10. How else can I clear a criminal record in California?

Several options besides a Certificate of Rehabilitation and governor's pardon are available to people with a criminal record.

10.1. Reduce a felony to a misdemeanor

Certain people may be able to get a California felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor.43

People who are eligible for this procedure are those who were:

10.2. Expunge a conviction

Expungement of a California conviction under Penal Code 1203.4 PC offers certain benefits that a Certificate of Rehabilitation does not. These include:

  • Protection against employment discrimination based on the expunged conviction(s),45
  • Making it easier to obtain a California state professional license, and
  • Preventing the expunged conviction(s) from being used to impeach the recipient's credibility as a witness in court (unless he or she is the defendant in a subsequent case.46

10.3. Seal and destroy an arrest record

Many people are eligible to get a California arrest record sealed and destroyed as a matter of right. This right extends to:

  • People who were arrested but never convicted, or
  • People whose conviction was vacated on appeal.47

People who were adjudicated a juvenile delinquent are also eligible to get a California juvenile record sealed and destroyed if:

  • The person is 18 or older OR five years have passed since the jurisdiction of the juvenile court terminated;
  • The person has not been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude as an adult; and
  • The original crime was not a particularly serious offense (such as murder, torture or robbery) committed after the person turned fourteen.48

10.4. Obtain a commutation of sentence

People who are serving time may be eligible to get a sentence commuted by the California governor. A commutation does not restore lost civil rights but it can reduce a sentence or make a prisoner immediately eligible for parole.

Need help clearing a California criminal record? Call us…

certificate of rehabilitation defense attorney receptionist smiling
Call us for help

If you need help clearing a California criminal conviction or arrest record, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation.

Call us at 855-LawFirm or fill out the form on this page to speak with an experienced California lawyer about your situation.

You can also talk to us if you need help sealing a criminal record in Nevada.


Legal References:

  1. California Penal Code 4852.16 PC: "The certified copy of a certificate of rehabilitation transmitted to the Governor shall constitute an application for a full pardon upon receipt of which the Governor may, without any further investigation, issue a pardon to the person named therein, except that, pursuant to Section 8 of Article V of the Constitution, the Governor shall not grant a pardon to any person twice convicted of felony, except upon the written recommendation of a majority of the judges of the Supreme Court."
  2. See Penal Code 1203.4.
  3. Penal Code Penal Code 290 lists a large number of sex crimes, including rape, sexual battery, and sex crimes involving minors.
  4. California Penal Code 4852.05 -- Conduct for a Certificate of Rehabilitation: "The person shall live an honest and upright life, shall conduct himself or herself with sobriety and industry, shall exhibit a good moral character, and shall conform to and obey the laws of the land."
  5. Ventura County criminal defense attorney John Murray has extensive experience helping clients clear their criminal histories. He represents clients throughout Southern California, including in Ventura County, Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, and the Antelope Valley.
  6. California Penal Code 4852.13(a) PC: “… if after hearing, the court finds that the petitioner has demonstrated by his or her course of conduct his or her rehabilitation and his or her fitness to exercise all of the civil and political rights of citizenship, the court may make an order declaring that the petitioner has been rehabilitated, and recommending that the Governor grant a full pardon to the petitioner. This order shall be filed with the clerk of the court, and shall be known as a certificate of rehabilitation.”
  7. Penal Code 4852.16, endnote *1*
  8. California Business and Professions Code 480 (b): “Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, no person shall be denied a license solely on the basis that he or she has been convicted of a felony if he or she has obtained a certificate of rehabilitation under Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 4852.01) of Title 6 of Part 3 of the Penal Code or that he or she has been convicted of a misdemeanor if he or she has met all applicable requirements of the criteria of rehabilitation developed by the board to evaluate the rehabilitation of a person when considering the denial of a license under subdivision (a) of Section 482."
  9. Penal Code 290.5:

    “(a) (1) A person required to register under Section 290 for an offense not listed in paragraph (2), upon obtaining a certificate of rehabilitation under Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 4852.01) of Title 6 of Part 3, shall be relieved of any further duty to register under Section 290 if he or she is not in custody, on parole, or on probation.

    (2) A person required to register under Section 290, upon obtaining a certificate of rehabilitation under Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 4852.01) of Title 6 of Part 3, shall not be relieved of the duty to register under Section 290, or of the duty to register under Section 290 for any offense subject to that section of which he or she is convicted in the future, if his or her conviction is for one of the following offenses:

    (A) Section 207 or 209 committed with the intent to violate Section 261, 286, 288, 288a, or 289.

    (B) Section 220, except assault to commit mayhem.

    (C) Section 243.4, provided that the offense is a felony.

    (D) Paragraph (1), (2), (3), (4), or (6) of subdivision (a) of Section 261.

    (E) Section 264.1.

    (F) Section 266, provided that the offense is a felony.

    (G) Section 266c, provided that the offense is a felony.

    (H) Section 266j.

    (I) Section 267.

    (J) Section 269.

    (K) Paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 286, provided that the offense is a felony.

    (L) Paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of, or subdivision (c), (d), (f), (g), (i), (j), or (k) of, Section 286.

    (M) Section 288.

    (N) Paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 288a, provided that the offense is a felony.

    (O) Paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of, or subdivision (c), (d), (f), (g), (i), (j), or (k) of, Section 288a.

    (P) Section 288.5.

    (Q) Section 288.7.

    (R) Subdivision (a), (b), (d), (e), (f), (g), or (h) of Section 289, provided that the offense is a felony.

    (S) Subdivision (i) or (j) of Section 289.

    (T) Section 647.6.

    (U) The attempted commission of any of the offenses specified in this paragraph.

    (V) The statutory predecessor of any of the offenses specified in this paragraph.

    (W) Any offense which, if committed or attempted in this state, would have been punishable as one or more of the offenses specified in this paragraph.

    (b) (1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), a person described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) shall not be relieved of the duty to register until that person has obtained a full pardon as provided in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 4800) or Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 4850) of Title 6 of Part 3.

    (2) This subdivision does not apply to misdemeanor violations of Section 647.6.

    (3) The court, upon granting a petition for a certificate of rehabilitation pursuant to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 4852.01) of Title 6 of Part 3, if the petition was granted prior to January 1, 1998, may relieve a person of the duty to register under Section 290 for a violation of Section 288 or 288.5, provided that the person was granted probation pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 1203.066, has complied with the provisions of Section 290 for a continuous period of at least 10 years immediately preceding the filing of the petition, and has not been convicted of a felony during that period.

    (c) This section shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2021, and as of that date is repealed.”

  10. See Penal Code 290.5(a)(2), endnote 9.
  11. Penal Code 4852.01 (a) “A person convicted of a felony who is committed to a state prison or other institution or agency, including commitment to a county jail pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, may file a petition for a certificate of rehabilitation and pardon pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.”
  12. Penal Code 4852 (b): “A person convicted of a felony or a person who is convicted of a misdemeanor violation of any sex offense specified in Section 290, the accusatory pleading of which has been dismissed pursuant to Section 1203.4, may file a petition for certificate of rehabilitation and pardon pursuant to the provisions of this chapter if the petitioner has not been incarcerated in a prison, jail, detention facility, or other penal institution or agency since the dismissal of the accusatory pleading, is not on probation for the commission of any other felony, and the petitioner presents satisfactory evidence of five years' residence in this state prior to the filing of the petition.”

    See also Penal Code 1203.4 [expungement].

  13. Same.
  14. Same.
  15. Penal Code 4852.01(c) “This chapter does not apply to persons serving a mandatory life parole, persons committed under death sentences, persons convicted of a violation of Section 269, subdivision (c) of Section 286, Section 288, subdivision (c) of Section 288a, Section 288.5, Section 288.7, or subdivision (j) of Section 289, or persons in military service.”
  16. Penal Code 4852.13 (b) “No certificate of rehabilitation shall be granted to a person convicted of any offense specified in Section 290 if the court determines that the petitioner presents a continuing threat to minors of committing any of the offenses specified in Section 290.”
  17. Penal Code 4852.01(d): “Notwithstanding any other law, the Governor has the right to pardon a person convicted of a violation of Section 269, subdivision (c) of Section 286, Section 288, subdivision (c) of Section 288a, Section 288.5, Section 288.7, or subdivision (j) of Section 289, if there are extraordinary circumstances.”
  18. Penal Code 4852.06: “After the expiration of the minimum period of rehabilitation applicable to him or her and after the termination of parole, probation, postrelease supervision, or mandatory supervision, a person who has complied with the requirements of Section 4852.05 may file in the superior court of the county in which he or she then resides a petition for ascertainment and declaration of the fact of his or her rehabilitation and of matters incident thereto, and for a certificate of rehabilitation under this chapter. A petition shall not be filed until and unless the petitioner has continuously resided in this state, after leaving prison or jail, for a period of not less than five years immediately preceding the date of filing the petition.”
  19. Penal Code 4852.03(a): “The period of rehabilitation commences upon the discharge of the petitioner from custody due to his or her completion of the term to which he or she was sentenced or upon his or her release on parole, postrelease community supervision, mandatory supervision, or probation, whichever is sooner. For purposes of this chapter, the period of rehabilitation shall constitute five years' residence in this state, plus a period of time determined by the following rules:

    (1) An additional four years in the case of a person convicted of violating Section 187, 209, 219, 4500, or 18755 of this code, or subdivision (a) of Section 1672 of the Military and Veterans Code, or of committing any other offense which carries a life sentence.

    (2) An additional five years in the case of a person convicted of committing an offense or attempted offense for which sex offender registration is required pursuant to Section 290, except that in the case of a person convicted of a violation of subdivision (b), (c), or (d) of Section 311.2, or of Section 311.3, 311.10, or 314, an additional two years.

    (3) An additional two years in the case of a person convicted of committing an offense that is not listed in paragraph (1) or paragraph (2) and that does not carry a life sentence.

    (4) The trial court hearing the application for the certificate of rehabilitation may, if the defendant was ordered to serve consecutive sentences, order that the statutory period of rehabilitation be extended for an additional period of time which when combined with the time already served will not exceed the period prescribed by statute for the sum of the maximum penalties for all the crimes.

    (b) Unless and until the period of rehabilitation required by subdivision (a) has passed, the petitioner shall be ineligible to file his or her petition for a certificate of rehabilitation with the court. A certificate of rehabilitation that is issued and under which the petitioner has not fulfilled the requirements of this chapter shall be void.

    (c) A change of residence within this state does not interrupt the period of rehabilitation prescribed by this section.

    (d) This section shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2021, and as of that date is repealed.”

  20. Penal Code 4852.03(a), endnote 18.
  21. Penal Code 4852.03 (a)(1), endnote 18.
  22. See Penal Code 290 PC.
  23. Penal Code 4852.03(a)(2), endnote 18.
  24. Penal Code 4852.03(a)(3), endnote 18.
  25. Penal Code 4852.22: “Except in a case requiring registration pursuant to Section 290, a trial court hearing an application for a certificate of rehabilitation before the applicable period of rehabilitation has elapsed may grant the application if the court, in its discretion, believes relief serves the interests of justice.”
  26. Same.
  27. Penal Code 4852.06: “After the expiration of the minimum period of rehabilitation applicable to him or her and after the termination of parole, probation, postrelease supervision, or mandatory supervision, a person who has complied with the requirements of Section 4852.05 may file in the superior court of the county in which he or she then resides a petition for ascertainment and declaration of the fact of his or her rehabilitation and of matters incident thereto, and for a certificate of rehabilitation under this chapter. A petition shall not be filed until and unless the petitioner has continuously resided in this state, after leaving prison or jail, for a period of not less than five years immediately preceding the date of filing the petition.”
  28. Same.
  29. Penal Code 4852.09: “No filing fee nor court fees of any kind shall be required of a petitioner in proceedings under this chapter.”
  30. Penal Code 4852.08: “During the proceedings upon the petition, the petitioner may be represented by counsel of his or her own selection. If the petitioner does not have counsel, he or she shall be represented by the public defender, if there is one in the county, and if there is none, by the adult probation officer of the county, or if in the opinion of the court the petitioner needs counsel, the court shall assign counsel to represent him or her.”
  31. Same.
  32. Penal Code 4852.04 PC: “Each person who may initiate the proceedings provided for in this chapter shall be entitled to receive counsel and assistance from all rehabilitative agencies, including the adult probation officer of the county and all state parole officers, and, in the case of persons under 30 years of age, from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Facilities.”
  33. Penal Code 4852.07: “The petitioner shall give notice of the filing of the petition to the district attorney of the county in which the petition is filed, to the district attorney of each county in which the petitioner was convicted of a felony or of a crime the accusatory pleading of which was dismissed pursuant to Section 1203.4, and to the office of the Governor, together with notice of the time of the hearing of the petition, at least 30 days prior to the date set for such hearing.”
  34. Penal Code 4852.11: “A peace officer shall report to the court, upon receiving a request as provided in Section 4852.1, all known violations of law committed by the petitioner. Upon receiving satisfactory proof of a violation the court may deny the petition and determine a new period of rehabilitation not to exceed the original period of rehabilitation for the same crime. In that event, before granting the petition, the court may require the petitioner to fulfill all the requirements provided to be fulfilled before the granting of the certificate under the original petition.”

    See also Penal Code 4852.12:

    “(a) In a proceeding for the ascertainment and declaration of the fact of rehabilitation under this chapter, the court, upon the filing of the application for petition of rehabilitation, may request from the district attorney an investigation of the residence of the petitioner, the criminal record of the petitioner as shown by the records of the Department of Justice, any representation made to the court by the applicant, the conduct of the petitioner during the period of rehabilitation, including all matters mentioned in Section 4852.11, and any other information the court deems necessary in making its determination. The district attorney shall, upon request of the court, provide the court with a full and complete report of the investigations.

    (b) In any proceeding for the ascertainment and declaration of the fact of rehabilitation under this chapter of a person convicted of a crime the accusatory pleading of which has been dismissed pursuant to Section 1203.4, the district attorney, upon request of the court, shall deliver to the court the criminal record of petitioner as shown by the records of the Department of Justice. The district attorney may investigate any representation made to the court by petitioner and may file with the court a report of the investigation including all matters known to the district attorney relating to the conduct of the petitioner, the place and duration of residence of the petitioner during the period of rehabilitation, and all known violations of law committed by the petitioner.”

  35. Penal Code 4852.1:

    “(a) The court in which the petition is filed may require testimony as it deems necessary, and the production, for the use of the court and without expense of any kind to the petitioner, of all records and reports relating to the petitioner and the crime of which he or she was convicted, including the following:

    (1) The record of the trial.

    (2) The report of the probation officer, if any.

    (3) The records of the prison, jail, detention facility, or other penal institution from which the petitioner has been released showing his or her conduct during the time he or she was there, including the records of the penal institution, jail, or agency doctor and psychiatrist.

    (4) The records of the parole officer concerning the petitioner if the petitioner was released on parole, records of the probation officer concerning the petitioner if the petitioner was released on postrelease community supervision or mandatory supervision, or the records of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Facilities concerning the petitioner if the petitioner had been committed to that authority.

    (5) The written reports or records of any other law enforcement agency concerning the conduct of the petitioner since the petitioner's release on probation, parole, postrelease community supervision, or mandatory supervision, or discharge from custody.

    (b) A person having custody of any of the records described in subdivision (a) shall make them available for the use of the court in the proceeding.”

  36. Penal Code 4852.14: “The clerk of the court shall immediately transmit certified copies of the certificate of rehabilitation to the Governor, to the Board of Parole Hearings and the Department of Justice, and, in the case of persons twice convicted of a felony, to the Supreme Court.”
  37. Same.
  38. Penal Code 4852.13(a): “Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b), if after hearing, the court finds that the petitioner has demonstrated by his or her course of conduct his or her rehabilitation and his or her fitness to exercise all of the civil and political rights of citizenship, the court may make an order declaring that the petitioner has been rehabilitated, and recommending that the Governor grant a full pardon to the petitioner. This order shall be filed with the clerk of the court, and shall be known as a certificate of rehabilitation.”

    See also Penal Code 4852.16: “The certified copy of a certificate of rehabilitation transmitted to the Governor shall constitute an application for a full pardon upon receipt of which the Governor may, without any further investigation, issue a pardon to the person named therein, except that, pursuant to Section 8 of Article V of the Constitution, the Governor shall not grant a pardon to any person twice convicted of felony, except upon the written recommendation of a majority of the judges of the Supreme Court.”

  39. Penal Code 4852.17 PC: “Whenever a person is issued a certificate of rehabilitation or granted a pardon from the Governor under this chapter, the fact shall be immediately reported to the Department of Justice by the court, Governor, officer, or governmental agency by whose official action the certificate is issued or the pardon granted. The Department of Justice shall immediately record the facts so reported on the former criminal record of the person, and transmit those facts to the Federal Bureau of Investigation at Washington, D.C. When the criminal record is thereafter reported by the department, it shall also report the fact that the person has received a certificate of rehabilitation, or pardon, or both.

    Whenever a person is granted a full and unconditional pardon by the Governor, based upon a certificate of rehabilitation, the pardon shall entitle the person to exercise thereafter all civil and political rights of citizenship, including, but not limited to: (1) the right to vote; (2) the right to own, possess, and keep any type of firearm that may lawfully be owned and possessed by other citizens; except that this right shall not be restored, and Sections 17800 and 23510 and Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 29800) of Division 9 of Title 4 of Part 6 shall apply, if the person was ever convicted of a felony involving the use of a dangerous weapon.”

  40. Penal Code 4852.16 PC, endnote 37.
  41. Same.
  42. Penal Code 4852.17 PC, endnote 38.
  43. Penal Code 17(b) PC.
  44. Same.
  45. California Labor Code 432.7.
  46. Evidence Code 788 EC.
  47. Penal Code 851.87 PC
  48. Welfare and Institutions Code 781.

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