Certificate of Rehabilitation (Penal Code Sections 4852.01, 4852.21)
A Certificate of Rehabilitation is a petition requesting that the court declare that a person convicted of certain felonies which carried a prison sentence is now rehabilitated. A granted Certificate of Rehabilitation is automatically forwarded to the Governor of California as an Application for Pardon. A granted Certificate does not guarantee that a Pardon will be granted. Please be advised that the Fresno County Public Defender’s Office does not assist with filing these petitions.
- At least 7 years (10 years in some cases) must have passed since discharge from parole or completion of sentence, whichever is later; and
- After completion of the sentence or discharge from parole, you must have lived an honest and upright life, and fully complied with all laws; and
- You must have continuously lived in California for the last 5 years; and
- Either have been sent to prison or received a Penal Code section 1203.4 dismissal.
Misdemeanor offenses are ineligible unless the offense required sex registration.
What the certificate DOES:
- Relieve some sex offenders of duty to register.
- Enhance potential for obtaining state licensing.
- Serve as documentation of rehabilitation to present to an employer.
- Automatic application for Governor's Pardon.
What the certificate DOES NOT DO:
- Dismiss, erase, or seal the conviction
- Prevent the conviction from being used as a prior conviction.
- Allow the person to answer on an employment application that he/she has no conviction record.
- Restore the right to vote because this right automatically restores when your parole or probation has been completed.
- Restore the right to own or possess a firearm.
For information about this relief and how to apply, see our Certificate of Rehabilitation Self-Help Packet(PDF, 502KB).