Just because you were convicted of a crime it does not mean your life is over. The legislators recognize that people change and that life must move forward. Pursuant to those ideals our legislators have passed laws that recognizes an individual's desire to move beyond there past by allowing a convicted person an opportunity to get there charges expunged, reduced or to obtain a certificate of rehabilitation. Just because you have been convicted of crime does not mean life is over and that employment is impossible.
What is an Expungement?
An expungement is a term that we use when referring to a process of cleaning up your criminal record. A person seeking an expungment will essentially be asking for the court to reopen their criminal case and withdraw their previously entered plea of guilty or no contest or verdict and dismiss the case. The result of this procedure is that you will no longer have a conviction for that specified crime, however, your actual file still exist but it will no longer reflect a conviction. Unfortunately not all charges can be expunged. Certain sex related offenses are excluded from this procedure as well as certain violent or serious crimes.
Do I Qualify for an Expungement?
Beyond the restrictions that a particular conviction may place on an expungement the courts place further requirements in order for a person to be eligible for an expungement. The person requesting an expungment must not have been sentenced to state prison. Essentially this means that a person must have successfully completed the terms of probation and paid all applicable fines and fees. been granted probation and thereafter completed or terminated probation without having been sentenced to prison.
What is a Certificate of Rehabilitation?
Certificate of Rehabilitation (“COR”) is a California court-order declaring that a person previously convicted of a felony (or misdemeanor sex offense) is now rehabilitated. The purpose of the COR is to restore civil and political rights of citizenship to ex-felons who have proved their rehabilitation. COR is designed for those who have actually been sentenced to state prison and is often times considered as the first step in being granted a pardon. In California, a person must file a Petition for a Certificate of Rehabilitation in the Superior Court of the county where the applicant resides.
Do I Qualify for a Certificate of Rehabilitation?
A person may apply for a COR if:1. they 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.OR 2. they 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.OR 3.they 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.
If you have been convicted of a crime and are in need of legal assistance in obtaining an expungement, certificate of rehabilitation or pardon in California then call Madera and Merced County Criminal Defense Attorney Adam Rodriguez for a free consultation.