Public Defender staff assists individuals with becoming productive and positive members of the community by clearing criminal convictions. If the court grants post conviction relief, the individual is released from all disabilities flowing from the conviction, thereby, nullifying the effects of the conviction for most employment purposes. Although the petition does not remove the court records from public inspection, and it may not prevent the conviction from being used as a prior to increase punishment in case of a subsequent conviction, it may assist individuals with obtaining employment or registering for school. This is just one aspect of our holistic approach towards rehabilitation and reintegration in a way that benefits the community.
An individual who has completed probation on a qualifying offense and has no new or pending cases with the court may petition the court for a dismissal of his/her cases by filing a petition pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4 or 1203.4a.
Individuals who have served time in state prison on qualifying offenses, must seek a Certificate of Rehabilitation. A Certificate of Rehabilitation is a court order declaring that person has been rehabilitated. To be eligible, a person must have been free of custody for at least seven years, been a resident of California for five consecutive years before filing the petition, is not on probation or parole, and pass a background check. Once a person has completed the required period of rehabilitation, a person may file for a COR in his/her current county of residency.
Proposition 47 passed by the People of the State of California allow certain non-violent felonies to be reduced to misdemeanors after the filing of a petition under Penal Code Section 1170.18. In addition Proposition 64 allows for many marijuana convictions to be reduced to a misdemeanor or be dismissed by filing a petition under Penal Code Section 11368.1.
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