California Certificate of Rehabilitation Eligibility

California Penal Code sets forth certain requirements in order to be eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation. A person can apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation if he or she is corresponding to one of the following requirements for getting it:
a) a person convicted of a felony who has been released from a state prison or other state penal institution or agency in California
b) discharged on completion of the term for which he or she was sentenced or released on parole and has not been incarcerated in a state prison or other state penal institution or agency since his or her release
c) presents satisfactory evidence of a three-year residence in this state immediately prior to the filing of the petition for a certificate of rehabilitation and pardon provided for by law or a California resident for a minimum of five years immediately prior to filing for your Certificate[1].


a) Any person convicted of a felony or any person who is convicted of a misdemeanor violation of any sex offense specified in Section 290
b) the accusatory pleading of which has been dismissed
c) the petitioner has not been incarcerated in any prison, jail, detention facility, or other penal institution or agency since the dismissal of the accusatory pleading
d) is not on probation for the commission of any other felony
e) the petitioner presents satisfactory evidence of five years residence in this state prior to the filing of the petition.[2]

The period of application for rehabilitation constitutes five years’ residence in California. In addition, a period of time is determined as well by the following rules:
a) To the five years there will be added four years in the case of any person convicted of violating

  • MurderSection (Penal Code 187 PC )
  • Aggravated kidnapping (Penal Code 209 PC )
  • Penal Code 219, 4500 or  12310 PC (acts involving explosives or destructive devices causing death, mayhem, or great bodily injury)
  • subdivision (a) of Section 1672 of the Military and Veterans Code
  • or of committing any other offense which carries a life sentence.[3]

The period of rehabilitation begins to run upon the discharge of the petitioner from custody due to his or her completion of the term to which he or she was sentenced or upon his or her release on parole or probation, whichever is sooner.

However, there are some exceptions from these rules. In particular, they are not applicable to the following categories of persons:

  • serving a mandatory life parole
  • persons committed under death sentences
  • convicted of a violation of subdivision (c) of Section 286 (sodomy with a minor)
  • Section 288 (lewd acts with a minor)
  • subdivision (c) of Section 288a (oral copulation with a minor)
  • Section 288.5 (‘Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Minor Child’)
  • subdivision (j) of Section 289[4]
  • or in the military.

The Margarian Law Firm aggressively protects the rights of criminal defendants in California. We are a client-centered professional expungement law firm, not a mass-market expungement mill. When our law firm accepts your California criminal case, you can put your mind at ease. We handle every aspect of your case, from the very start through the very last court hearing, all for a flat fee agreed upon before we begin.

You may file your request online, by telephone or by mail. 818-553-1000

[1] California Penal Code Section 4852.01 PC
[2] California Penal Code Section 4852.01 PC
[3] California Penal Code 4852.03 PC
[4] Any person who participates in an act of sexual penetration with another person who is under 14 years of age and who is more than 10 years younger than he or she shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or eight years.

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