When a Certificate of Rehabilitation (CR) is approved and granted, it acts as an automatic application for a California Governor’s pardon. Some individuals will apply for such a pardon for personal satisfaction. Sometimes, they are looking to improve their chances at being hired for a job or receiving a license. Whatever the motivation, a pardon is not frequently granted. It is reserved for those citizens who have been convicted of a crime but, in the aftermath, have shown above average behavior and a dedication to improving themselves and society.
As long as you have been convicted of a felony or a limited number of misdemeanor sex offenses in California, you can apply for this privilege. Most of the time, you must first be granted the CR by the superior court. This certificate is consequently sent to the Governor’s office as an official application. The Governor will review your situation and determine whether or not he believes you should be pardoned from your conviction.
Since the CR comes first, you must determine if you qualify for this certificate. Felonies or misdemeanor sex offenses that fall under Penal Code §290 and were subsequently dismissed under §1203.4 may qualify to apply. If your conviction is consistent with this requirement, you must also have been discharged from custody or probation.
Furthermore, you also must not have been arrested and kept in an institution or jail since the discharge in question. You cannot be on probation for any other crime and you must have been a California resident for at least five years. If you meet all these eligibility requirements, you can apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation and the ensuing Governor’s pardon.
Receiving a pardon is a great honor. You must be aware though that it will not seal or expunge your record. As the pardon is a public record, your conviction and the pardon are accessible for a potential employer or a government agent. You are still required by law to disclose all necessary information regarding the charge when filling out an application or any other document that asks about your criminal record. However, you can say that you have been pardoned.
If you do not qualify to file a Petition for a Certificate of Rehabilitation, you can apply for a traditional pardon. If you are no longer a resident in California but were convicted of a felony in this state, this may be an option for you. Sex offenses that are listed in Penal Code section 286(c), 288, 288a(c), 288.5, or 298(j) may be covered by a traditional pardon. Whether you are looking to apply for a pardon through a CR or through the traditional method, we would like to help. Our associates can review your case and advise you concerning which path to take.