PC 290 Certificate of Rehabilitation

A Certificate of Rehabilitation is a court order declaring that a person convicted of a certain class of felony or misdemeanor is now rehabilitated. If a petition for a Certificate of Rehabilitation is granted, it is forwarded to the Governor by the court and constitutes the application for a pardon. The laws pertaining to the Certificate of Rehabilitation can be found in Penal Code sections 4852.01 to 4852.21. Receipt by the Governor of a Certificate of Rehabilitation does not guarantee that a pardon will be granted, and they are very complex to achieve.

Generally, any person convicted of a qualifying crime who still resides in California may apply to the superior court in his or her county of residence for a Certificate of Rehabilitation, provided that he or she meets the requirements of demonstrated rehabilitation required by law. (Penal Code sec. 4852.06.) Special laws apply to those convicted of sex offenses. Persons convicted of misdemeanor sex offenses specified in Penal Code section 290 may apply if the conviction has been dismissed under Penal Code section 1203.4. Persons convicted of felony offenses under Penal Code section 286(c), 288, 288a(c), 288.5, or 289(j) are not eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation. A Certificate of Rehabilitation may relieve some offenders from having to register as a sex offender under Penal Code section 290. For more information on 290 registration requirements, contact the California Department of Justice, Sexual Registration Unit.

You are eligible to apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation if you: 

1. Were convicted of a felony and served your sentence in a California prison; and

  • Were discharged or released on parole prior to May 13, 1943; and
  • Have not been incarcerated in a state penal institution since release; and
  • Have resided for three years in California immediately prior to filing the petition.

2. Were convicted of a felony, or a misdemeanor sex offense specified in Penal Code section 290 that was dismissed under Penal Code section 1203.4; and

  • Have been discharged from custody, parole, or probation; and
  • Have not been incarcerated in any penal institution, jail, or agency since release; and
  • Are not on probation for the commission of any other felony; and
  • Have resided for five years in California immediately prior to filing the petition.

3. Were convicted of a felony after May 13, 1943; and

  • Were sentenced to state prison; and
  • Were discharged from custody or released on parole; and
  • Have resided for five years in California immediately prior to filing the petition.

Persons who are not eligible to apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation include:

  1.  Those who do not qualify as above;
  2. Those who were convicted of misdemeanors, except those convicted of a misdemeanor sex offense as discussed above;
  3. Those who were convicted of sex offenses under Penal Code sections 286(c), 288, 288a(c), 288.5, or 289(j);
  4. Those who are serving a mandatory life parole;
  5. Those committed to prison under a death sentence;
  6. People in the military service.

Many lawyers would say these are the most difficult of all legal matters to handle. Attorney Brown is well versed in negotiating the complexities of P.C. 290 registration cases.

References:https://www.amadorcourt.org/localForms/criminal/CertificateRehabilitationAndPardon.pdf