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Certificate of Rehabilitation

Certificate of Rehabilitation Lawyers Explain California Penal Code Section 4852.01

If you are accused of a crime, you could be sentenced to time in jail or prison and ordered to pay expensive fines. However, even after you have completed your sentence, your criminal conviction could have a negative impact on your life. You may lose some of your rights if you are convicted of a crime, and your criminal record may make it difficult to find employment or maintain relationships with friends and family. That is why you should consider applying for a Certificate of Rehabilitation under California Penal Code Section 4852.

A Certificate of Rehabilitation may help you restore some of your rights, end your requirement to register as a sex offender and reduce the negative consequences of having a criminal record.

Our skilled criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been successfully helping clients obtain post-conviction relief for more than 35 years. Contact our law firm today at (877) 466-5245 so we can help you find out if you’re eligible to apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation.

What is a Certificate of Rehabilitation? (PC 4852)

Certificate of Rehabilitation
A Certificate of Rehabilitation is a court order.

A Certificate of Rehabilitation is a court order that declares you have been rehabilitated since being convicted of a crime. This court order is a statement from a judge that you are an upstanding member of the community and that your criminal behavior is a thing of the past.

How could a Certificate of Rehabilitation help you? There are numerous reasons why it would benefit you to obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation.

What Does a Certificate of Rehabilitation Do?

If you are convicted of a crime, the consequences last well beyond the completion of your sentence. You will be negatively impacted by your criminal record for the rest of your life. However, obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation could end or reduce the harmful effects of having a criminal record.

Under PC 4852, a Certificate of Rehabilitation may have all of the following benefits for you:

  • Preventing state licensing boards (i.e. the state bar) from automatically denying you a professional license
  • Ending your requirement to register as a sex offender under PC 290 if you were convicted of certain sex offenses
  • Serving as an automatic application for a Governor’s Pardon
Certificate of Rehabilitation
A Certificate of Rehabilitation could help your job prospects.

Additionally, obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation could open up new job opportunities for you. Although your criminal record will still show up on background checks, you will be able to tell potential employers that a court has declared you rehabilitated because you have been an upstanding member of society since completing your sentence.

In order to obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. You should speak to an experienced Certificate of Rehabilitation lawyer to find out if you’re eligible to apply.

How to Qualify for a Certificate of Rehabilitation

You must be eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation in order to file a petition with the court. There are three different ways you could qualify for a Certificate of Rehabilitation under PC 4852. You may be eligible to apply if you meet the following requirements:

  • You were convicted of a felony and served your sentence in state prison
  • You were discharged or released on parole prior to May 13, 1943
  • You have not been incarcerated since your release, AND
  • You have been living in California for at least three years prior to filing for the Certificate of Rehabilitation

Another way you may be eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation is if you:

  • Were convicted of a felony offense after May 13, 1943
  • Were sentenced to state prison
  • Have completed your sentence, probation or parole, AND
  • Have resided in California for at least five years prior to filing the petition

You may also qualify for a Certificate of Rehabilitation if you:

  • Were convicted of a felony or misdemeanor sex offense specified under California Penal Code Section 290 and you had that conviction expunged
  • You have been released from custody and/or have completed probation or parole
  • You have not been incarcerated in any penal institution, jail or agency since your release
  • You are not on probation for the commission of any other felony, AND
  • You have resided in California for at least five years prior to filing the petition

Additionally, every person must wait a “satisfactory period of rehabilitation” before becoming eligible to obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation.

How Long Do I Have to Wait Before Applying for a Certificate of Rehabilitation?

It is important to note that PC 4852 requires you to wait a “satisfactory period of rehabilitation” in order to qualify for a Certificate of Rehabilitation. What is considered a satisfactory period varies based upon the crime you were convicted of:

  • Sex crimes requiring sex offender registration under PC 290 (excluding some child porn crimes, sexual exploitation of a child and indecent exposure) require 10 years
  • Murder, assault by any means of force likely to cause great bodily injury, aggravated kidnapping and other crimes that carry a life sentence require 9 years
  • All other crimes (including sex offenses such as sexual exploitation of a child, indecent exposure and certain child porn crimes) require 7 years

The eligibility requirements for a Certificate of Rehabilitation can be confusing. That is why you should contact our lawyers at Wallin & Klarich to discuss the details of your case and find out if you qualify for a Certificate of Rehabilitation.

How Can an Attorney Help You Obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation?

Certificate of Rehabilitation
Speak to a Certificate of Rehabilitation lawyer today.

In order to obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation under PC 4852, you must petition the court. You may be wondering what an attorney can do for you during this process?

Our skilled criminal defense lawyers at Wallin & Klarich have been helping clients successfully petition the court for a Certificate of Rehabilitation for more than 35 years. We understand what it takes to submit a successful application for a Certificate of Rehabilitation. Our experienced lawyers will use this knowledge to help you submit a Certificate of Rehabilitation application that will please the court.

In order to submit a winning application for a Certificate of Rehabilitation, our attorneys will assist you in executing and preparing all of the following:

  • The Certificate of Rehabilitation questionnaire
  • Letters from peers about your personal character and reputation
  • Pictures of you and your family
  • Any awards, personal achievements, records of volunteering or community service you have performed and your resume

In addition, our Certificate of Rehabilitation lawyers will refer you to a licensed psychologist so that you can receive a psychological evaluation. What sets Wallin & Klarich apart from other law firms is our understanding that a psychological evaluation could play a large role in helping convince the court that you deserve to be deemed rehabilitated and our close relationships with medical professionals who can provide you with an evaluation.

This knowledge and track record of success is why you should consider hiring our experienced lawyers at Wallin & Klarich if you are seeking to obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Certificate of Rehabilitation

The process for applying for a Certificate of Rehabilitation can be confusing and complex. Our attorneys are often asked regarding the Certificate of Rehabilitation and the benefits of obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation. Here are answers to some of the questions our Certificate of Rehabilitation lawyers are asked most frequently:

Is a Certificate of Rehabilitation the same thing as a Governor’s Pardon?

A Certificate of Rehabilitation is not the same thing as a Governor’s Pardon. While a Certificate of Rehabilitation is a court order declaring that you have been rehabilitated, a Governor’s Pardon is a declaration by the governor that you have been an exemplary, law-abiding citizen since being convicted of a crime.

If you obtain a Governor’s Pardon, it will restore some of your rights that were taken away when you were convicted of a crime. However, a Certificate of Rehabilitation and Governor’s Pardon are related in that obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation from a judge serves as an automatic application for a Governor’s Pardon.

Will a Certificate of Rehabilitation end my requirement to register as a sex offender?

A Certificate of Rehabilitation alone is enough to end your requirement to register as a sex offender only in certain cases. However, if you were convicted of any of the following sex-related crimes, a Certificate of Rehabilitation alone will not terminate your requirement to register as a sex offender:

  • Kidnapping (PC 207, 209) with the intent to commit
    • Rape (PC 261)
    • Sodomy (PC 286)
    • Lewd or lascivious act with a minor (PC 288)
    • Oral copulation (PC 288a), or
    • Sexual penetration by force (PC 289)
  • Assault (PC 220)
  • Felony sexual battery (PC 243.4)
  • Rape (PC 261)
  • Rape by foreign object (PC 264.1)
  • Felony enticement of a minor (PC 266)
  • Felony sexual intercourse induced by fraud (PC 266c)
  • Procurement of child under age 16 for lewd or lascivious acts (PC 266j)
  • Abduction of a minor for prostitution (PC 267)
  • Aggravated sexual assault of a child (PC 269)
  • Felony sodomy (PC 286)
  • Lewd or lascivious acts with a child under age 14 (PC 288)
  • Felony oral copulation (PC 288a)
  • Continuous sexual abuse of a child (PC 288.5)
  • Felony sexual penetration by force (PC 289)
  • Felony annoying or molesting a child under 18 (PC 647.6)
  • Attempting to commit any of the offenses listed above
  • The statutory predecessor of any of the offenses specified above, or
  • Committing any offense in another state that would be the equivalent to one of the California crimes listed above

If you were convicted of any of the sex offenses specified above, you should speak to an experienced Wallin & Klarich attorney about applying for a Governor’s Pardon. Being pardoned by the governor may help you end your requirement to register.

*This is current law today. This law as mentioned above regarding registered sex offenders will expire July 1, 2021. After that date, you can only seek SB 384 Petition to qualify under the new tier system. Up until that date however, you can still seek relief from sex registration under current California law.

Does a Certificate of Rehabilitation restore gun rights?

A Certificate of Rehabilitation alone will not restore your right to own, possess or carry a firearm. However, it could be the first step in your restoring your gun rights.

Your Certificate of Rehabilitation serves as an automatic application for a Governor’s Pardon. If the governor grants you a pardon, you may be able to possess, own or carry a gun. Keep in mind that in order for your gun rights to be restored, the governor must issue you a “full and unconditional” pardon.

What does a Certificate of Rehabilitation not do?

It is imperative that you know obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation will not erase or seal your criminal record. In addition, a Certificate of Rehabilitation does not:

  • Prevent the court from considering your offense as a prior conviction if you are later convicted of a new offense
  • Allow a felon to tell potential employers that he or she has not be convicted of a crime
  • Give a felon the right to vote (this right is automatically restored after termination from probation or discharged from parole)

You may be able to restore some of these rights if you also obtain a Governor’s Pardon. Speak to an attorney today to find out what benefits a Certificate of Rehabilitation could have for you and determine your eligibility for a Governor’s Pardon.

Where Can I Find a Certificate of Rehabilitation Lawyer Near Me?

Certificate of Rehabilitation
Our Certificate of Rehabilitation lawyers can help you now.

The process of applying for a Certificate of Rehabilitation is complex, so you will need an experienced Certificate of Rehabilitation lawyer to guide you through this difficult matter. You should not hesitate to contact Wallin & Klarich if you are considering applying for a Certificate of Rehabilitation.

Our skilled and knowledgeable Certificate of Rehabilitation lawyers have been helping our clients successfully obtain Certificates of Rehabilitation and Governor’s Pardons for more than 35 years. Our lawyers understand what it takes to fill out a successful application for a Certificate of Rehabilitation. Let us help you now.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, our skilled Certificate of Rehabilitation lawyers are available to help you no matter where you work or live.

Call our law firm today at (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation regarding your case. We will be there when you call.

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