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Mar 18 (date change) in Los Angeles [details]
California

Certificate of Rehabilitation

The first comment below is a very detailed description of the Road to a Certificate of Rehabilitation. We believe it deserves its own post. Thanks to the poster for taking the time to share.

Although this unfortunately is not an option for many (PC 290.5), hopefully it will help someone.

Join the discussion

  1. Ranon

    I was recently granted a Certificate of Rehabilitation, and would like to share my process for any who may be interested.

    In 1995 I sold 3 vhs cassettes depicting minors having sex. These were included in a box of about 200 legal videos. I was charged with 3x possession (misdemeanor) and 3x sale (felony). I was not required to register under section 290, but that became a requirement during my probation as the program started up in 1996. My registration was confined to the Police Dept records, which was a small blessing.

    I was ordered to do 3 years of therapy with Dr. Wes Maram who is renown in the field of sex offenses. I was released from that program after one year, after Dr. Maram diagnosed that I was not a pedophile. I completed probation, paid dues, etc.

    I had a DUI in 2003, which caused immigration problems. Before that I’d been “under the radar” with my felony but once my name popped up in the system, I had to spend 20 months in detention fighting deportation.

    Fast forward to 2010, when California reclassified my crime and put my information up on the Megan’s Law public website. I contacted an attorney to try for a Certificate of Rehabilitation, and that cost about $2000. He suggested that I get an evaluation from Dr. Maram. This cost about $3000. Three different tests were involved. The lie-detector was easiest. The one with imagery of abuse and sex was horrible and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Nonetheless with a favorable test and several letters from family and friends, we appeared before Judge Goethals in OC Superior court where I was shot down because of the DUI. He expressly read aloud the COR paragraph that includes the word “sobriety” and pointed out that it was a requirement which I’d failed. He denied the COR but allowed us to retry in two years.

    In the meantime I lost my job and had to move from Irvine due to the public listing. A few friends were lost as well, though my girlfriend stayed with me. I started reading up on the subject, perusing blogs, etc. and learned of Chance Oberstein, a former sex offender who’d gotten a COR and regained his attorney status. I booked a paid consultation and spoke at length with him. His contribution to my endeavor was the concept of letters: get as many as possible from business and professional associates. Judges discount letters from family and friends but weigh others from the larger community favorably. He had a huge binder full that he’d taken to court, it seemed to easily number 200 pages. Being an attorney, he had them from other lawyers, police, church, business owners, etc.

    I thanked and paid him for his consultation but retained my own attorney. I did go down to the OC Newport courthouse to look at Chance’s filing and read the letters in length, copying several to use as templates. After all, this was public information. I contacted several of my former colleagues and employers, my landlord, my girlfriend’s parents, and others to get as many varied perspectives as possible. I printed up utility bill samples for the last 5 years (to show proof of California residency). I also learned that Judge Robison, who’d granted a COR to Mr. Oberstein, would be retiring at the end of 2012. That coincided perfectly with my 2 years. My attorney filed the COR motion on Halloween.

    Long story short, the motion was granted and I was ecstatic. The COR papers took a month to arrive from the court, by mail. I waited 30 days and checked with the DOJ in Sacramento, and they had never received any of the documents. I faxed and mailed them in. It took another 30 days to be removed from the Megan’s Law website, a total of 3 months after being granted a COR.

    Next, I had to clear my picture and information that had propogated through the internet. I approached the hosts as someone who’d moved into the apartment where “that guy USED to live” and needed that information removed, to ensure safety for my family. I emphasized the fact that the profile on their website pointed to a non-existent page on the Megan’s Law website. City-Data.com had to be contacted through their parent company, Advameg before removing the info. Homefacts took my information down right away. Busted-offenders.com took many many tries, and I actually had to call that one in. It finally cleared off but the picture lingered on Google image results. I had to use this link to have it removed: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1663688

    The only challenges remaining are Mugshots.com and Sorarchives.com. I’m considering a picture-burial tactic, and will update if it works.

    So what have I learned from all this?

    1) Don’t get in ANY more trouble. It all comes up when you see the judge, minor traffic infractions aside. You want to go in as clean as possible.

    2) Do your COR attempt as quickly as possible. I think the first opportunity is at 7 years but varies by offense. I neglected it since my information wasn’t public. But who knows… the law could change and shut that door, or you could have a DUI, or something. Do it asap.

    3) Get those reference letters. Tell a few people about your situation, that you’re going in to court. Some of my contributors didn’t even want to know what had happened, and they basically wrote letters describing my character, skills, trustworthiness. Others got into detail about my disclosure and who I am now, who they know, how a COR would affect my productivity and contribution to the world. Some of the best letters are from officers, firemen, politicians and others in public service with whom judge can identify.

    4) Write your own letter to the judge, and delve into painful honesty. Get into how you felt at the time, what led you to that event, what you got out of therapy, the pain and shame you felt and feel, the fear of violence, accomplishments, your current outlook, any certifications or licenses.

    5) Volunteer. I volunteered at a local Catholic charity where they feed homeless people on Sunday mornings. I’d get up early, join another 20 or so volunteers to prepare and cook food for almost 150 people. In addition to getting letters from them to present in court, I was filled with a humility that I’ve never known. It felt like I was doing something to better the world, beyond personal gain. For me, a new concept 😀

    6) Get a psychological evaluation. Dr. Wes Maram did mine, but I’m sure others can administer less tests for less money. Put it this way… if you bomb the test, you don’t have to give it to the court. If you ace the test, you’ll definitely want the judge to see it.

    7) Stay optimistic. This is silly but the day before my appearance, I got a great massage to just drain all that negative energy and tension, dissipating the fear and letting me breathe while I was in the courtroom. For months previous, I filled my thoughts with gratitude to the judge and the universe, thanking him in advance for granting me the COR.

    So that was my process for getting a COR. Hope yours succeeds as well.

    • http404

      When I got word the law was going to change to no longer allow certificates of rehabilitation (1996/1997) I paid an attorney $2000 to go through the process. I had a letter of support from a state sponsored therapist. I had letters of support and character from friends and family. When we went before the judge, he shook his head and indicated if we proceed he would deny it because I was 2 months short of qualifying, which incidentally was 1 month before the new law would no longer allow it. At my attorney’s suggestion, I withdrew the motion because he said it is better NOT to file it than to file it and have a record that it was denied.

      This is like having the carpet pulled from under your feet. It was a waste of my time and my money. The law says a pardon is still an option but pardons are held as political hostages of the Governor’s office.

      I’m now approaching 23 years since being released. I’ve had no subsequent arrests or trouble of any kind, aside from a couple traffic tickets I can count on one hand.

      • Joe

        Wow! Talk about timing. So at one point, after almost 10 years, you were thought to be worthy of rehabilitation – 30 days after that, not! Never ever. Just like that. I would imagine you are rooting for John Doe (vs Harris).

        In the interest of correct information, and not to discourage anyone, did you mean “When I got word the law was going to change to no longer allow certificates of rehabilitation for some offenses” – as spelled out in PC 290.5 and PC 4852.01?

        As Ranon’s story proves it is a viable option for some. Not many, but some.

        • http404

          It was once a viable option for all.

          And yes, I am keeping an eye on Doe v. Harris, but with skepticism. My run-in with the law was decades ago so withdrawing my plea isn’t going to be an option… and with that off the table, it would be a logistical impossibility for the state to manage individual registrations, based on the date the offense occurred, as to which registrants are subject to which rules. So I rather expect the court to come back with a ruling saying yes, plea bargains are binding but there are some exceptions and PC290 would be one of those exceptions.

      • Anonymous Nobody

        Gee, I’m afraid after California Supreme Court’s ruling in Doe v Harris this past year, even if you got the certificate and got relief from registering, you now would have to start registering again anyway as they increased the standard.

    • Lori

      Hi I am applying for a certificate of rehabilitation. Would you send me a copy of what you wrote to the court?

    • David

      I’ve been looking into getting the certificate on and off for nearly 5 years now. Here’s my problem though. My conviction was in 2001. I I absconded from parole in 2003, left the country for 5 years, came back in 2008, did a violation and got off parole in 2009. Since 2009, I’ve lived in Reno, NV which of course is out of state but very near Tahoe, Ca. I have not lived in California for the time allotted to qualify for the certificate it seems.

      However, since then I’ve graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelors in Information Systems and am 2 classes shy of my Masters from Boise State University.
      This shit is ridiculous having to have it follow me the rest of life. I was charged with stalking for violating a restraining order from an ex-girlfriend that I had been with for 7 years and have a son with whom I haven’t seen since then. I’ve paid my debt to society and then some. I truly hate this country. It is all set up for failure and not success unless you are absolutely filthy rich.

      As I am still researching legal advice, I welcome any advice or constructive criticism from and/all of you folks that read this. Thanks and good luck to all of you who have paid your debts to society as well and are looking to truly move on with your lives!

    • mch

      I have some general COR questions and those who have been successful in receiving a COR can help answer them. Some of us are totally unable to afford an attorney so we have to go it alone. From what I’ve gathered I believe letters are huge, and as mentioned before, letters from professional contacts, pastors, church leaders, police officers if you have a personal friend, and others who may be influential in the community. A life scan report will be needed as well and a psych evaluation/report.
      My questions are these; When you get the reference letters, exactly what should be included, how should it be written to be most effective?
      When you write your reasons for wanting the COR, what is the best wording for that, that will most effectively communicate your heart and mind to the judge?

      It seems like the wording is everything in these letters. Any thoughts, suggestions ort help available out there?
      Thank you.

      • David H

        MCH could please tell me what a life scan is?

        • Tami

          Live Scan, I believe, is the fingerprinting part. Look up any agencies in your area. You can even go to a Police Dept and have it done. There is a fee.
          Then you’ll submit that and a form to the Dept of Justice for your background check…there is also another fee. In total, will cost approx $40, give or take. I think the DOJ is $25 BUT I have yet to do mine so not positive. I think I read that on their website. Hope that helps if you didn’t find out on your own already!
          🙂

  2. Bill (with a capital G)

    @Ranon:
    Leave the country.
    You do not advance the cause by playing their game.
    Leave the United States of America.

    Advise your controlling authority that you no longer live in the USA.

    You will immediately be dropped from the Registry.

    If you need to return, do so for three days only.

    No problem…unless you need to be there for some reason, but you can change that more easily than you can fight them. They hate you.

    Get used to it…get over it.

    • Joe

      @Bill (with a capital G) – did you even read the comment? He got off! As is provided by law. Why on earth would he not take this road – “play the game”? Because someone else cannot? He should leave his country – to show ‘them’? Advance the cause? Really???

      And where do you get a max 3 days return from? What happens on the fourth day? Please provide the applicable law.

      If your comment was meant to be sarcastic, I sure as h*ll missed that!

  3. Bluewall

    Unfortunately, in my case this doesn’t work.. it’ll take an act of the president (Not unless Second Chance Act gets re-modified or upgraded)… but truly I am happy that someone got out of this mess.. means there is hope… somewhere…

  4. C

    I am happy for both Bill and Rnon that they have figured out a way to get off the registry. But, if I were Bill and living in a another country with a new life I sure as heck would not be coming back to this site to vent my bitterness.

  5. MCH

    Flood the courts with COR’s for all that are eligible. If they deny or reject, do it again. We were graciously given a template and plan on how to do this. In the eyes of the court I may be considered a RSO, but in the eyes of my family, friends, co-workers, clients and church, I’m considered a hard working, kind and benevolent man that’s served his sentence, has been rehabilitated and is living somewhat successfully. Never give up.

  6. Fish in a Net

    I really would like to see one of these hearing in perios and understand what happens prior to filing for my own. Any advice on how to find out when the court is holding one of these hearings? I understand that they stack them up and review them all in an all day session, is this true?

  7. Ranon

    In OC, motions are heard on a Friday. Case files begin with M- and can be seen on the occourts.org website. However case detail is not available on the website, so unless you know of someone going in for a COR, you’d be sitting in on all kinds of motions. The hearings differed greatly during my two appearances. I didn’t speak during either, with my attorney doing all the talking. Judge Goethals was on a warpath and let the whole court know what was going on as he denied my motion. Judge Robison was much more discreet and conveyed his decision quietly to my attorney while he had approached the bench.

    Most of the juice would be in the filing, since judges base their decisions primarily on the details presented therein. To see an example of a successful filing, you could look up someone who was granted a COR (such as the gentleman mentioned in my first post) in the OC website, then go to the courthouse and request to see the case. Then you can spend a day reading every page, making notes, taking copies. I would guess most other courts operate the same way.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      Your comment actually highlights one of the major problems with the law providing for a Certificate of Rehabilitation: the judge can deny for any reason at all, any reason. There is no standard you can meet that will entitle your to the certificate. There is no standard the judge can’t use to deny you. The judge has incredibly broad leeway here. And you saw how that gets exercise, one judge so wildly refusing, the other more reasonable, but of course about to retire so could care less about the next election.

      And mind you, it is a long time since any liberal has been able to get on any court anywhere in the country — those that might still remain are the ones now retiring. The ones who will be there for a long time to come are mostly all out of the prosecutorial ranks. Its nearly impossible in the country’s and state’s current state of mind for anyone to get elected to the court without having a prosecution background. That is so necessary that few without some sort of link to the prosecution of criminals even will make the attempt to run for election to the courts.

      • Ranon

        It’s completely discretionary. However, having a DUI after the 290 offense definitely lowered my chances. My attorney warned me about it, and sure enough Goethals pounced on it. If you stay clean, the judge will have less reason to deny you.

  8. elaine

    do u have cor for tenn ? it needs to be implemented all states. so we can have th eopprtuity to share this with our loved ones to see if they can do this too , tenn reform isnt gettign back with me:(will someone help

  9. USA

    Well, I’m truly very happy for Ranon. I attempted to obtain a Certificate about 5-6 years ago. The DA handling the case was a nut. I mean, she was surreal. The Investigators came to my home (they interview neighbors/the applicant). They came to my home around 7pm at night and I later found out recorded our conversation? Surreal. The alleged victim taunted me in the hallway? I couldn’t believe this was happening. Then, the investigator and woman would sit directly in front of the escalators so I would have to see them when entering the Court. These people in OC do whatever it takes to shoot you down. I received Summary Probation for my offense? They just don’t play fair. Im presently open to trying again, but I’m very sure that a Tier System will pass and its times for California to wake up.

  10. Ranon

    I had high hopes for Doe winning vs. Harris, which would’ve cleared a lot of people from the registry. It was my backup hope if I hadn’t gotten my COR. In this light I’ve uploaded 5 letters written to the judge. There were a few more, from the volunteer center and church. I doubt many people have read these aside from the judge and court personnel involved with my case, so feel free to use any ideas you find. Names are X’s to protect identity. Password for the zip file is carsol, all caps.
    http://hidemyass.com/files/hI8BQ/

    • 290 Wife

      @Ranon – I know what you mean about Doe v Harris being a fail safe…. my husband was granted a Certificate of Rehabilitation shortly after the case was filed. Knowing about it, and being convinced that Doe would prevail, was a major reason I was able to keep my sanity during the stressful COR process. I also saw it as a fallback should my husband’s petition be denied. Never had I any doubt that the major hurdle was for the SC to hear this, and that the decision in Doe’s – no, in sanity’s – favor was a foregone conclusion.

      To that extent I am still in disbelief as to this recent decision. Not even in the 290 world, but in a reasonable context. How is it possible to agree to something, a contractual agreement, and then allow one side to change said contract arbitrarily without recourse? Whenever they like? Until the end of days? How? I do not get it. I really don’t.

      Thank you for sharing your very personal story and letters and your road to your reclaimed life. Hopefully it will help others – at least the very few for who this is an option. If it saves one family…. To you – all the best.

  11. Joe

    I just noticed that Certificate of Rehabilitation – who, what, how – is the topic of a presentation at the RSOL Conference later this month.

    How To Stop 290 Registration
    http://rsolconference.org/presenters

    Goals of the presentation are
    1) Identify what sex crimes qualify for Certificate of Rehabilitation or Governor’s Pardon, and
    2) Step by step approach on how to file for a Certificate of Rehabilitation or Governor’s Pardon — and how to win

    • David H

      I’m afraid I’m doomed; I had to plead guilty to a probation violation, which the way I read it disqualifies me from COR process 🙁

  12. td777

    It should be noted that, at least in California, pardons have become extremely rare to begin with, with the last three California governors only giving a total of 26 pardons, and not a single one of them to a registrant. His first time as governor, Jerry Brown pardoned 403, and this time has already granted over 200 pardons, including at least one that I know of to a sex offender(though the pardon was for a subsequent murder, not for the sex offense). If we have any chance of a pardon from a governor, it would be this one!

  13. portia

    Ranon, Thank you so much for posting this valuable info, which I just came across now. I do not have a sex offense, but this is one of the few accounts I could find of the COR process – for anyone. Can I ask, how did you find a good COR attorney? I’m having a hard time. Many good crim. defense attorneys have told me they don’t do them. Also, my county of residence is now different than the county I was prosecuted in. Which county should I look for a COR attorney in? Or doesn’t it matter? I think the prosecutor in the original county hates me, because I wouldn’t play ball with them, so I’m sure they will oppose my COR app. Thanks in advance for any response you can provide.

    • Staying Positive

      Hi @Portia, you might consider using Chance Oberstein, he is mentioned by Ranon. He has an excellent proifle at the State Bar web site that details his own efforts to get his license back that was suspended/rewoked because of 290:

      http://members.calbar.ca.gov/fal/Member/Detail/152557

      He also has a human interest profile in the OC Register as well detailing his COR journey:

      http://www.ocregister.com/articles/oberstein-338377-certificate-court.html

      I’ve also researched Bruce Nickerson, who has had a lot of success defending “gay cruising” entrapment cases:

      http://brucenickerson.com/

      I think the best thing Ranon says is don’t give up. I’ve fought and won an Adam Walsh Act (AWA) case with the Citizenship and Immigration Service regarding being eligible to sponsor a relative for a Green Card.

      A good thorough psychological workup in my situation went a long way to winning my case. It was backed by many standardized, objective tests to bolster my therapist’s professional opinion.

      • Alex G.

        Hi @ Staying Positive. You mentioned in your reply to portia that you successfully fought an Adam Walsh Act case. Could you please tell me what you did to win this case? I am an RSO since 2005, got married in 2005 and my wife cannot her green card. My conviction was a 243c (a wobbler), which got expunged, and I am getting ready to start the COR process. Any help regarding the AWA case is greatly appreciated. Our lawyer just keeps telling us to be patient, but patience has been running thin for quite a while now. My wife has not been able to leave the U.S for over seven years, and our case is before the deportation judge. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

  14. Brian

    I have three things that make me exempt,I’m not sure what being a vet has to do with anything. Also it’s been 16 years since my offense, I have been quoted $4000 dollars to retain a lawyer for this. Is it even worth my time to persue?

    • alert

      They say: the proof is in the pudding. I would ask for an example of a case similar to yours where they obtained a Certificate of Rehabilitation.
      I must wonder however why someone would pay $4000 to avoid registering when it’s no more inconvenient than filling out a club membership? (sarcasm)

    • alert

      Whoops! Sorry, I forgot you’re probably just referring to being exempted from the Megan’s website. Anyway, same procedure.

  15. alienated

    First of all good for Ranon and Chance and secondarily I hope I can get a COR it has been 22 years and to be quite Frank it is about fricken time. Go Janice Bellucci !! I will let you all know how my day in court goes. Cross your fingers for me,I can use some positive energy. Good luck everyone

  16. Pamela

    My husband is a tier one SO ( the lowest tier) and he was under the influence when he indently exposed himself just the one time…he has been clean 12 years now. He cannot even live in his own new house with his family and just today we went to court for the hearing of his COR and it turns out we have to return in a months time because the DA was not ready! It is very frustrating because we have been apart 1 year now and I simply don’t know what to do anymore…Now we hear from the public defender that even after he is granted the COR, he still cannot live at his home until he has his pardon from the governor! and that could take years or never….Do we need to get a good attorney?

    • Joe

      UNLESS the offense is listed in PC 290.5 or the petitioner is on parole / probation, a Certificate of Rehabilitation will end SO registration.

      http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/290.5.html

      There are few offenses that are not disqualified from this relief, so good for your husband. The offenses that are listed in 290.5 do require a Governor’s pardon. Some are excluded even from applying. Is that where the confusion stems from?

      Please look at the FAQ on this site, #9 and #10. All pertinent information is linked there. Once the Certificate is granted and registration officially terminated by the CA DOJ there are no, zero, zilch, nada restrictions on a person as a consequence of the original offense. One would guess the conviction has been dismissed under 1203.4 already and is a misdemeanor?

      You are doing the right thing. While there are many excellent Public Defenders, the COR process may not be their focus or expertise. Can you afford a private attorney? There are a few that specialize in this field. I know some people who have done this. Best money they ever spent.

      But regardless, do not despair. Focus on the positive. Whats another month? I would imagine there are close to a hundred thousand wives (figuratively speaking) in CA who would trade places with you, gladly. And if he does not get it this time (10 years is the minimum waiting period), he can try try again.

      Good luck, and let us know here how it goes.

  17. marantikos

    Ranon, could you please post those sample letters again. This link no longer works…

    http://hidemyass.com/files/hI8BQ/

    Thank you for your help and hope!!

  18. bruce

    Well This Answers My Question,,,Money Pit,, No Sure fire deal & You have to admit Guilt of something You May not have Done…Screw It! I see a Whole Bunch of ? & $ all out going & few if any incoming results much less Actually getting any $ incoming from A SUIT OVER PERSECUTION is a joke . It Really seems that WE ARE A Commodity & are treated as such with a lottery chance of 1 here 1 there ever getting anywhere Just to keep everybody Buyin’ the bull! It May not be as I perceive but I Perceive Pretty Darn Good & Observance IS Key In Perception of a REALITY Not a Wish Bone!

  19. mch

    This was passed on to me via a friend who got it from an attorney. Note the exception…

    Now that we have a Governor of California who is granting hundreds of pardons, it would be well to note the amendment to the Certificate of Rehab process that is effective as of January 1, 2014. Here is the new language adding Penal Code section 4852.22 to the Certificate of Rehabilitation process:

    Penal Code § 4852.22

    Except in a case requiring registration pursuant to Section 290, a trial court hearing an application for a certificate of rehabilitation before the applicable period of rehabilitation has elapsed may grant the application if the court, in its discretion, believes relief serves the interests of justice.

    The “period of rehabilitation” required in the process before this amendment would be calculated as the sum of two components: a five-year period of residency in California before the filing of the petition PLUS an “additional period.” The shortest “additional period” currently in the code is two years, but there are “additional periods” of four and five years, depending on the offense of conviction. These “additional periods” produce periods of rehabilitation of nine and ten years, respectively. Until the recent amendment to the code, the shortest “period of rehabilitation” was therefore seven years.

    The Senate Committee on Public Safety’s analysis says the following:

    “Third, [this bill] allows the court to waive the 5 year time period to grant a COR in the ‘interests of justice’.”

    The upshot of this amendment is that with the exception of registered sex offenders, persons who can demonstrate a record of extraordinary post-conviction rehabilitation—after release from prison or jail or after completion of probation—can apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation and Pardon within five years, subject to the sound discretion of the court.

    • mike

      Thanks for the post. It makes me cringe to think of the many felons that can now be legally forgiven by society, but I wont. The anarchist inside of me wants to start a petition to expand the registry to include adultery, prostitution, and fornication. Even those who subscribe to deviant magazines like playboy. Make it retroactive. Circulate the petitions through churches on Sunday mornings. Anyone not signing should be scrutinized as much as a politician who wouldn’t sign a bill against sex offenders. Do we really want these people around our children and influencing them? Think of the horrible consequences the children could suffer from a puritans viewpoint. I would also include it a sex offense for anyone to describe an automobile as “Sleek and Sexy”. WTF is that supposed to mean? We’ll designate them as Autophiliacs. After all if we are trying to design an idyllic or utopian society than let’s banish all sex offenders! Permanently!

  20. Tim

    Give us an island somewhere and we will renew Justice, based on a Bill of Rights, like the convicts sent to New England, Canada, Australia during the eighteenth century. This time no exploition minded upper class remnants from the old, corrupt world. No starting out with slavery and then trying to get rid of it. Everyone is equal under the law and no one is a commodity. I know, just a fantasy.

  21. mch

    I received this reply from an attorney regarding my questions about felony reduction, expungement and COR. I thought that the courts ruled recently that those with a 288 conviction can file an application for a COR AND, depending on the court can have it granted.

    Section 288(a) convictions are “straight” felonies (not wobblers) and can never be reduced to misdemeanor status per section 17(b). There is no point in seeking this relief in court.

    However, you’re in luck as to an “expungement.” I checked on this for another prospective client recently and discovered, to my surprise, that although convictions of 288 are barred from relief under Penal Code section 1203.4, an attempted 288 conviction [664/288(a)] is not barred. Please note that 1203.4 provides for a dismissal of charges, not a true expungement. Many people mistakenly refer to it as an “expungement.” There is no true expungement under the law of California for convicted persons, except for convictions involving possession of small amounts of marijuana.

    Convictions of violating 288.2(b) are not even mentioned in the list of offenses that are barred from relief under section 1203.4, so the 288.2(b) conviction is not a problem in that regard.

    If you completed probation perfectly, the court is REQUIRED to grant you relief under 1203.4. It is MANDATORY. However, if you so much as omitted to pay the tiniest fine, the Probation Department will advise the court to deny your petition.

    As to the COR, you are barred from relief because of the 288 conviction. Your only course of action is the traditional or “straight” pardon application directly to the Governor for a pardon. This may not be as far-fetched as you might imagine. Brown has been granting hundreds of pardons, and I have obtained a couple for clients already.

    • Joe

      Thank you for sharing that. I thought that an attempt was treated the same as an offense, except in sentencing. But indeed it says “violation” of Section blah blah blah and NOT “violation or an attempt of Section …”. Good for you.

      When attempting to clarify (for my own edification), I found 2 different versions of PC 1203.4 (on what appear to be reputable sites). One of them states that also those convicted of PC 311 are ineligible for relief under 1203.4.

      What gives?

      http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/1203.4.html

      (b) Subdivision (a) of this section does not apply to any
      misdemeanor that is within the provisions of Section 42002.1 of the
      Vehicle Code, to any violation of subdivision (c) of Section 286,
      Section 288, subdivision (c) of Section 288a, Section 288.5, or
      subdivision (j) of Section 289, any felony conviction pursuant to
      subdivision (d) of Section 261.5, or to any infraction.

      vs

      http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=pen&group=01001-02000&file=1191-1210.5 (scroll down to 1203.4)

      (b) Subdivision (a) of this section does not apply to any
      misdemeanor that is within the provisions of Section 42002.1 of the
      Vehicle Code, to any violation of subdivision (c) of Section 286,
      Section 288, subdivision (c) of Section 288a, Section 288.5,
      subdivision (j) of Section 289, Section 311.1, 311.2, 311.3, or
      311.11, or any felony conviction pursuant to subdivision (d) of
      Section 261.5, or to any infraction

  22. noname

    What about 288.4(b) when there is no victim but a entrapment in a internet sting?

  23. 290 GF

    I was up all night reading everyone’s posts. It looks like our trip to Italy will be indefinitely postponed. My questions are the following: 1) in order to apply for a COR, does your conviction have to have been a misdemeanor? It seams as if some of the offenses talked about in prior blog posts where people were successful in being granted a COR would have been felonies, but in the FAQ section on this website, it states the offense has to be a misdemeanor to apply for COR. ??? 2) if granted a COR, are you removed from the government’s FLOGGING (oops) I mean Flagging system for international travel? Or will you still have a problem traveling abroad?

    Thanks in advance for any replies

    • Joe

      @GF – I wrote a long reply to your comment but decided to put it under this new post.

      http://all4consolaws.org/2014/05/living-with-290-certificate-of-rehabilitation-is-possible/#comment-79532

      Regarding the travel problems, I have yet to hear anyone being turned away from any country in Europe (except UK perhaps) – anyone know?? I believe many European countries do not even swipe passports. While the trip is long and expensive to risk being turned around, it would be a shame if you missed out on a decent cup of cappucino because of this….

      Good luck. Feel free to ask questions if you have more.

  24. Ranon

    Hello, to answer a couple of questions:

    My attorney was Mark Devore, out of Newport Beach CA. He filed both COR’s.

    The files have been re-uploaded to: http://uploaded.net/file/7s7j4a6d (password carsol, all caps).

    • SanDiegan

      Thanks for sharing these sample letters but I tried CARSOL and carsol as password to no avail. Help?

  25. Hopeful

    Thanks for the sample letters.

    Were the people, who provided the reference letters, interviewed by court/DA authorities.
    If so what kind of questions were they asked?
    For instance was your land lord contacted by court and asked to describe the details they give to support you. Was your land lord ok to talk to a law enforcement agency on your behalf?

  26. Ranon

    > Hopeful

    Nobody was interviewed, as far as I know.

    Mugshots.com and Sorarchives.com were both paid to remove my profile.

  27. USA

    Hello, I actually attempted to obtain a COR. My initial legal issue occurred in LA, but I now reside in OC. I was literally shocked by the conduct of OC. The investigators interviewed all of my neighbors/they all had wonderful things to say about me, but this was never mentioned. Then, they knocked on my door at like 7pm at night. THey where rude, obnoxious and I later found out they had recorded my conversation without my consent? THese guys where dirty. I was initially charged with multiple crimes, but all charges where dismissed~ summary probation. In summary, the DA was rude, obnoxious, didnt fight fair, screamed and the letters submitted to the court by the alleged victim didn’t coincide with the police reports? THE DA probably had the person write the most obnoxious or rudest thing they could write. After my experience in OC, I will never trust anyone in law enforcement. I would be afraid to get arrested in OC. THE DA’s office is crooked~

  28. Justplainme

    This is definitely a tough one. I was convicted in 2001 from a 220 and 243.4a. Not with a minor. I filed for a COR in 2013 which was the 10 year rule. I knew I would have difficult time because I got a DUI in 2009 in OC. I didn’t pay a high prices lawyer to file but paid $200.00 flat fee for a paralegal who does these in LA county all the time. It took about 6 months but I got a court date. To my surprise the judge was very nice and wanted me to come back in 1 year due to the DUI not being 5 years yet. I went back, and the DA was a really nice guy, but funny that the public defender came up to me and asked if I needed help. Not knowing who she was or she didn’t introduce herself, I kindly said no thank you. That made her mad! So the judge didn’t seem to remember who I was, and wanted to take a recess to read the transcripts and then asked me if I have questions, to ask the public defender. I went to her, the public defender and said I had a question for her, she looked at me and said, “I’m not talking to you, you had your chance!” I walked away and said nothing but was laughing in my head because the DA seemed to be on my side and the public defender was against me. Hmm, how ironic is that. Anyway, long story short, the judge asked me again to come back in 2 weeks so she can read a letter about how it won’t happen again which wasn’t in the file but luckily I had a copy for her but time was running out. So I have my meeting again this Monday so I have my fingers crossed and it seems like things will be good. I also know that you have to file in the county you live in, but after you attend court the first time, there was nothing stating you have to continue living in that county if your job depends on where you live. Any feedback on this? I will let you know what happens after Monday. Anyone like that guy who was negative shouldn’t be on here anyway. I’m trying to live a good life. Isn’t that what prison is for? To rahabilitate yourself? FYI, don’t spend more than a couple hundred bucks to file these papers. It’s pretty cut and dry and yes it’s up to discretion of the judge.

  29. Justplainme

    So to continue from my previous comment, I not only got my COR granted, the judge also said I am no longer required to register, although that was a concern since 290.5 new law changed that my case was not eligible for that. But I am really happy that she ordered that. Now it’s just a waiting game for pardon and doj to remove me from Megan’s law. I wish the best to anyone trying to pursue this. Don’t give up. It may be a long road but it’s worth it. FYI, you don’t need an attorney for this.

    • Joe

      Congratulations!

      So was this in LA County?

      They will take their sweet time to delete you from the web site (if you are listed) but it will happen. That pardon on the other hand…. I wouldn’t hold my breath, but who cares!

      • Justplainme

        Thank you.. Yes it was LA county. The guy who filed it for me also just sent the demand letter to doj. He is really good.. Go to criminalhistorycleaners.com he will help for $200

        • Tim

          The site says they are not attorneys. It says you have to represent yourself. ??

          • Justplainme

            Hey Tim, yes, that’s the best way because you can be yourself and speak freely to the judge. They want to hear you. Nothing wrong with getting an attorney, but many do not file the proper paperwork. If you hire this paralegal service, this is all they do. It worked for me

  30. Justplainme

    Yes it was LA county. Well the people who filed it for me, which the courts spoke highly of http://www.criminalhistorycleaners.com do these all the time and after you get the COR he will send it in to the department at DOJ he sends to all the time to get it done in a couple weeks. Yeah the pardon only allows me to be on the jury which I never will anyway. If I get it, even better for self assurance, but the registering is bigger than a pardon. Thanks and good luck

  31. Tim

    Thank you. I sent them a note and haven’t got a response, but I am probably not eligible for any relieve under the present laws.

  32. Michael A. Padgett

    I’m an attorney located in Orange County who represents registered sex offenders. I recently obtained a certificate of rehabilitation in Riverside County Superior Court for one of my clients. (The other client on calendar that day was 6 months shy of the 10 year “rehabilitation period” so the judge told him to come back in December when he’s eligible, presumably to get his.). Getting a COR is difficult but not impossible. You may not even have to do a 1203.4 expungement application. Under the statute, my client wasn’t eligible for an expungement but he ended up getting the COR anyway. These are “unchartered waters” we’re sailing in right now; many judges are unfamiliar with Tirey and some (but not enough!) are fed up with the witch hunts and scarlet letters and are wiling to use their discretion to do the right thing.
    It helps a LOT if you’ve not been violated and have had no problems with the law since the underlying 290 conviction(s). The DA (and judge, if he or she is a former DA) will hang their hat on that last section and argue that there’s no guarantee that petitioner won’t start recidivating “out of the blue.” Check your particular county District Attorney’s 290 web page for any county-specific requirements when petitioning for a COR. Character reference letters are certainly important and you should get at least four, if possible, but take heed of what a judge on the bench in Orange County CJC once told me: “Counsel, I don’t want letters that say your client has “‘changed.’ They all say that. I WANT FACTS; FACTS, FACTS, FACTS that SHOW the defendant has changed!”

    Michael A. Padgett

    • steve

      Also, without the 1203.4 expungement will he be allowed to be removed from the registry?

    • Michale

      Michale, what do you mean by violated? I’m going for my COR this years through the OC Public Defender’s office, as my conviction (for misdemeanor 311.a) and original release date from custody was in 2004.

      Do to an enticement from the court, of only having to register while i was on probation, I plead guilty and I was originally sentenced to 60 days and 5 years probation, only the first year to be formal…if the probation dept. lets you off it. I later found out that that was a joke (maybe even a trick by the court) because they never do.
      But I intially thought, Well that’s no problem. I dont drink or do drugs or have a criminal background or hang with the ‘wrong crowd”. So i thought my probation would be a snap. Boy was i ever wrong.

      I had a highly aggressive PO who supervised me like that Phil Gurido guy should have been supervised, and she violated me a few times, or tired to, on things that, were i not on probation, would not have been a crime (Like: I was poor and homeless and could not find housing, so she violated me for not fininding house when ordered to) and were also not related to the my type of offense. Finally i 2005 I had to go back to jail for 6 months and was off probation when released again in late 2005.

      But that converted my registration only while on probation to lifetime. However, it was the same judge, who saw me through all of that post conviction ordeal, who granted my 1203.4 in 2009. But he wont be hearing my petition

      Sooo, big problems there with the COR?

      • td777

        To me, you sound like you might be a good candidate for a COR, but then I’m not an attorney. What I do notice though, you said you were violated for being unable to find housing. THAT to me sounds like the probation officer was out of line, as was any judge who was willing to sign off on you going back into custody for this.

    • Michael

      Sorry, second question: Like what FACTS do they want in the OC courts? How do you PROVE you have changed. How do you prove to them you wont reoffend?
      In other words, how do they expect you to prove a negative?

    • Angela

      What can be done if you are a 288.a, to get out from under it? It has been a little over 10 years since 6 months in county.

  33. steve

    This is VERY Interesting and what has held me back…I’m very curious…

    “Getting a COR is difficult but not impossible. You may not even have to do a 1203.4 expungement application. Under the statute, my client wasn’t eligible for an expungement but he ended up getting the COR anyway.”

  34. Justplainme

    Update: I just received a letter from DOJ and I am finally clear! Working on private sites now. Very important reminder if you get a COR, make sure you request the judge order your registration to be terminated.. If not, they will NOT clear you….

    • Michale

      Good for you, brother. Im happy for you. And I’m sure more than a few of us are living vicariously through you because of it.

    • td777

      That’s great! It’s good to see that it is actually possible! Do you mind if we ask what the charge was, so others here who have similar cases can be encouraged?

    • CA

      congratulations!! CAN YOU PLEASE DESCRIBE WHAT YOU EXPERIENCED DURING THE TIME YOU APPLIED FOR THE COR AND WHAT THE DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE DID? I AM IN L.A. COUNTY.

  35. Mike

    Ok, question if I own a dog and put up a beware of dog sign an a person jumps my fence and gets bit by the dog occording to the law I am liable because it say’s I knew my dog bites , well what about Megan’s Law the Government puts peoples addresses and names out there and people started looking S.O. up and murdered them, now the Government knows about that people look up S.O.’s on Megan’s Law and murder’s them that makes the government acsseserie to the fact murder it makes them just as guilty as if they were standing there with the person who murdered them yet they can get away with murder, WOW What happened to protecting the American people? Oh wait just certain people.

  36. td777

    Does anyone know if a COR has ever been granted to someone with two separate conviction? I was railroaded on a second case, but I know the courts don’t see it this way.

  37. Justplainme

    Thanks Michale… My charge was a 220 and 243.4(a) not with a minor. Conviction was in 2001, and a DUI in 2009. Local police confirmed I am clear!!

  38. Kim

    My husband was granted a COR on November 20, 2014. On January 19, 2015 our attorney sent the COR to the DOJ. Yesterday my husband took the COR to local law enforcement to notify them he no longer needs to register. However, he was told he needs something in writing that specifically states he no longer needs to register. My question, does the DOJ send letters to law enforcement notifying them when a registrant no longer needs to register? My husband is very frustrated and feels like the whole COR process was useless unless law enforcement acknowledges he no longer needs to register. I’m not sure how local law enforcement is notified when a registrant is removed from the registry. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • A Wife

      Your husband and / or his attorney WILL receive a letter from the California DOJ advising that his registration requirement is terminated (assuming his conviction is not one of the ones excluded). That might take a while, though. If he is on the web site they will take him off – eventually. Remember – it takes them 72 hours or less to put someone up but they take their sweet time removing them. You may want to follow up with the DOJ. Make them work for their money?

      My question is why the attorney sat on the paperwork for 2 whole months before sending it to Sacramento?

      There is no point in taking the COR to the police station. They have no authority to do anything. Once you get your termination letter I do not think there is anything to do, except for not showing up for registration on his birthday. Woohoo. And living life like a normal person again. The police should also receive a notice, the change should be in “the system”. Until that letter arrives I would not do anything or change a thing, including appearing for the annual registration if need be. Better safe than sorry.

      Congratulations! You guys are lucky. Hopefully you will continue supporting the other former offenders and their families who are not.

  39. anonymous

    When I wanted to get a COR I recruited the Public defenders office in Sacramento and they help me through the process. It took about 6 months and was finished in September of 2005. They filed the paper work, set up the mental evaluation and talked to the DA and the judge in the back room. The most important two pieces is the talk in the back room with the DA acceptance.

  40. Dalton

    There is a recent decision in the 4th Appellate District, People v. Tirey 225 Cal.App.4th 1150, that states it is a violation of equal protection to disqualify someone convicted of P.C. 288(a) from applying for a COR. The CA Supreme Court has granted review so the issue has not been settled yet, but it offers hope for thousands.

    • Harry

      To able obtain a COR should allow all RC to be removed from the SOR, with no exceptions. This should be legally challenged. When SO professionals and judges say’s an RC is no threat, there is no need to keep them on SOR, after the fact.

      • Timmr

        Yes, my judge basically said I was not a threat to society, if I did the things I was supposed to do during probation. No judge will ever say anybody is no threat. Anybody can dangerous, however unlikely. Now the legislative branches of government are saying we are threat, who don’t know one of us from another. Hell’s bells I thought it was unconstitutional for a legislature to sentence one man or woman, let alone a whole group of people.

    • steve

      Any word on this?

  41. Chance X. Oberstein

    The majority of my practice involves post-conviction relief, especially Certificates of Rehabilitation. In considering whether to apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation, you will want to know the answers to the following questions: (1) Do I qualify for Certificate of Rehabilitation? (PC 4852.01 & PC 1203.4) (2) When can I apply for one? (PC 4852.03) (3) Will it achieve my desired result? (PC 290.5) The answers can be simple or complex, but getting an idea of where you stand is a good start. Once that is accomplished, you may want to consult with an attorney regarding the specifics of your case.

    Chance X. Oberstein
    Attorney & Vice-President of CA RSOL

  42. mch

    Chance;

    Do you personally know of any post-conviction specialists in the Central Valley, Fresno area?
    I’ll be filing a COR soon, my ducks are in a row. Thank you.

    • Chance X. Oberstein

      Mch,

      Please contact me at your earliest convenience.

      C.

      LAW OFFICE OF
      CHANCE OBERSTEIN
      28202 Cabot Road, Suite 300
      Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
      Telephone: (949) 365-5842 Facsimile (949) 429-8252

  43. Justplainme

    I see many comments about so many people are confused about what to do. I will offer FREE advice to clear up any confusion. You can call me from 9-12 mon-friday only at 714-767-5626. It worked for me

  44. Drew

    After reading through so many posts and also getting mixed information throughout the internet, I’m confused what convictions are exempt from qualifying for a Cert of Rehab?
    I’m looking to apply but not sure where to start and what info I should count on.

    • Joe

      Look at the FAQ – #10

      http://all4consolaws.org/faq/

      Everything you should need to know is in there. Or describe your situation and I can tell you where to look.

      • William

        So it’s only misdemeanor offenses that can get the COR?

        • Timmr

          That doesn’t make sense. Why send felons to the Department of Corrections and REHABILITATION if they will never be rehabilitated.

    • Joe

      This is not meant to be an endorsement or advertisement but I have come across web sites like this

      http://www.recordgone.com/

      where you can input your information in a yes / no decision tree to see if you might be eligible for a COR and terminating registration. I thought this one was pretty good as it, for example, distinguishes between CP convictions before or after Jan 1, 2014 (when a CP conviction was no longer eligible for expungement, the first step of the COR application process).

      Moderator, please remove the link if inappropriate.

  45. G12

    For everyone who’s successfully been granted a C.O.R., would you mind posting the county for which you received it in? A list could be beneficial for any of us who are planning on obtaining our own. I suppose a list of counties who’ve denied it might also be beneficial. Thanks.

  46. mch

    With the recent changes in California law, is obtaining a COR even feasible anymore? Talked to attorneys and the going price is around $5000, but why even try if the courts are bound by law to not grant one? Do I understand correctly any 288 is not eligible, even those with an attempted 288 (yes, the typical internet sting) are not eligible to have one granted? Last thing I want to hear is for the judge to say “oh gee, I’d like to grant this, you’re a good person, you’ve done right, but the law won’t allow me to grant your COR.
    Any insight on this before I drop my hard earned cash down…

  47. Josh

    To everyone and anyone trying to obtain a COR, it is possible. I have just obtained my COR just yesterday, my process was lengthy but it paid off. First of all it had been 22 years since my crimes. I had 2 seperate felonies. One felony was for 2nd degree burglary and the other was for assault with a deadly weapon ( shooting at an occupied dwelling ). Still my COR was granted, however I have had very minimal police contact since 1993 when I was sentenced so that was a huge help. The process is simple, you pick up the application packet from the court. You will also need to get 4 letters of character from people that are not related to you. Once the application gets filed you wait for your court date, mine was about 9 months out. Also I did not pay a single penny for my representation, yes that is real. Here’s how, if your crime was in Los Angeles county there is a public defender office there that will file and handle everything for you free of charge. They specialize solely on doing these COR’s and have a really high success rate of also getting the pardon from the governor. The guy to talk to is John Garbin he is know as ” the pardon guy “. If anyone needs help he’s the one to turn to. Don’t give up there is hope, if you have just one bit of hope you can and will succeed, you don’t need money to change your past just the right information can change it. Here is a link to an article on this PD http://www.latimes.com/local/countygovernment/la-me-pardon-guy-20140622-story.html if anyone needs anymore info or have questions you can contact me, good luck to everyone. Life is harder when you don’t try !

  48. alvin

    I have an interesting situation for which I can find no information at all. Over 15 years ago I was convicted of a 261.5. I was 19 at the time. I was given a suspended sentence and placed on probation for 3 years. Upon completion of the probation it would be dropped to a misdemeanor and subsequently removed from my record. I was on probation for one year in which time my “victim” contacted me. I turned the contact in to the probation officer who at the time violated me for the contact even though I did not initiate it. The “victim” would provide letters she claimed I had written to her following my revocation of probation. They were fake letter she had created because she was upset that I had told her to never call me again. That said, the court would not reinstate my probation and I was sentenced to 2 years in CDC. I spent one year in a california prison and was released on parole. I completed my parole all three years with no incident of any kind. For the last 15 years I have had no contact with the police of any kind barring a speeding ticket. I DO NOT have to register as a SO however, and I have never had to my case did not require me to. Do I qualify to apply for a COR? I am currently the owner of a large app development corporation here in California. I have another photography business and have recorded and produced over 200 commercial records in the last 15 years. Do you think that will be enough to qualify for one if I can actually apply. Thanks in advance for your input. And congratulation to those who have gone before with success it is inspiring to know there is hope.

    • mch

      Alvin;
      Since you do not have to register, just get your record clearance (1203.4). A COR for most is a waste of money, but it becomes an automatic application for a pardon I think.

  49. Ryu

    I’m looking to get attorney that can help my brother obtaining a COR. He was caught on one those Internet stings before many people had known about those things at the time in’98. Although he had probation revoked unfairly due to a spiteful PO.Other than that he remained clean every since. Lately my family is trying to clear name due to fact it has difficult for him find employment.

  50. Staying Positive

    An attorney I just spoke to says all citizens subject to 290 no longer have an option of getting off registration with a Certificate of Rehabilitation. Only option now is a governor’s pardon, he says. Is this right? Did the legislature change the law in 2014?

    • Paul

      No way that passed, and this group didn’t notice. That said, it is true that a CoR is not available to all registrants. In fact, it’s only available to small percentage. For those that a CoR is not available to, a Governor’s pardon is the only option.

    • jo

      Sounds like an honest attorney

    • guest

      Is it possible he was referring to AB20? Became law on 1/1/2014 and excludes those convicted of PC 311.xx from relief / expungement / dismissal under PC 1203.4.

      Since dismissal under 1203.4 is the first required step for a COR that would, indeed, exclude those convicted of PC 311.xx from obtaining a COR. BUT ONLY for those who were convicted before 1/1//2014. I believe anyone convicted before then is still eligible.

      The whole thing is fubar, anyway. If you have sex with a 16/17 (I know, the horror – grandma never realized she was a victim) you are totally eligible for 1203.4 relief. Have on your hard drive a photo of some random topless 16/17 year old – not so much.

      This has Equal Protection written all over it.

    • curiouser

      See 290.5 pc and 4852.01 pc

      • Staying Positive

        Yup, that was the place I went after coming here. It seems like nothing has changed except they may have reversed the Tirey decision. It looks like 311.xx is still eligible is you are/were able to get a dismissal/engagement.

        • curiouser

          The possibility for some registrants still exists. As Chance says wayyyyy up on this thread, you need to go through the checklist. If the conviction was a felony, can it be expunged via 1203.4 pc. Then you need to see if you can get a COR under 4852.01. Then check 290.5 to see if a COR, if granted, will relieve you of the registration requirement. clear as mud :p

  51. sara

    Can i get a cor to take away my requirement to register? I was convicted 261.5(d) statuatory. I had to serve 1 year in prison. Thank you. Im 19 female..long story but i want to know my options thank you.

    • curiouser

      Sara, was it felony or misdemeanor? Check 1203.4 pc

    • mch

      Sara,
      As Curiouser suggested, check 1203.4, record clearance. Also check to see if it was a felony, can it be reduced to a misdemeanor, then petition or apply for removal from internet disclosure. Your public defender can help if you don’t have the financial means. Are you currently on probation or parole? Last of all, don’t give up.

  52. sara

    I was told its wobbler and i pled to it as a felony. Thank you all for the help

    • Joe

      Here is my comment – I am not a lawyer.

      Here is a list of all wobblers in California

      http://www.recordgone.com/california_felony_wobblers.htm

      It is my understanding that if you are convicted of a wobbler as a felony and the sentence does NOT include a prison term (actual or suspended), then it can be reduced to a misdemeanor under PC 17(b). If you plead to a wobbler as a felony and the sentence DOES include a prison term (actual or suspended), the felony CANNOT be reduced.

      The first step of the COR process is to dismiss the conviction under PC 1203.4. There are a handful of offenses that are disqualified from this relief. A felony conviction of PC 261.5(d) is one of them. Since you plead to it as a felony AND you served time in prison you cannot reduce this felony, and with that, are ineligible for dismissal / expungement. Without that you cannot obtain a COR.

      So it looks like, under current law, there is no way for you to get registration relief.

      Having said all this, though, something is off.

      PC 261.5(d) reads ” Any person 21 years of age or older who engages in an act of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor who is under 16 years of age is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony””. If you are 19 now or you were 19 at the time of offense – either way you were under 21 and as such not convictable (is that a word?) under PC 261.5(d). Are you sure it is not PC 261.5(a)? That would be a whole different scenario.

      So either you misread your paperwork or you plead guilty to something that could not apply to you. You should talk to an attorney.

      • New Person

        something is off. Maybe she meant jail and not prison? But something is definitely off if she’s 19 and was charged with something that shouldn’t pertain to her.

  53. Crystal

    I was awarded a COR yesterday! Took me over a year but it happened! I can’t remember where I read it at ( either CA Business Code or CA Penal Code) but it said that one a COR was granted your criminal history could not be used against you for employment. I can’t seem to find this code. This is the main reason why I want a COR, but would really like to read the actual code on this. I did find the code that states licensing agencies can’t use your criminal history against you. Can anyone help me?

    My convictions were forgery and embezzlement. I got the COR for employment purposes to work in the health care field.
    Thank you

  54. Marc

    I received my certificate of rehabilitation for one felony. How do I get a pardon? It is suppose to be automatic or do I need to file something?

  55. MS

    Don’t just take my word for it but from I have heard…

    When a COR is granted…there is something automagic that happens. As in…a pardon request is generated and sent to the Governor for consideration.

    You’re more likely to win the lotto than have the pardon granted. The last person to get a pardon for anything would be an SO. Bad for business.

    HUGE congrats on the COR!!! No longer required to register…correct? So long Price Club!

  56. Justplainme

    I was scrolling through these comments, and it seems like a lot of you guys didn’t read the comment from Chance. It’s pretty simple actually. Anyone can apply for a COR, but the real question everyone has is, if after you are awarded a COR, Will you be removed from the registry? Well it’s simple, look under 290.5, and if your penal code falls under that category, if IN THE FUTURE, you commit those crimes, you will never get off. Well, as a 243.4(a) can get you off the internet, you still have to register, unless of course your judge, if in LA grants a COR and clearly specifies that you no longer have to register pursuant to section 290.5. Then you or your paralegal, or attorney will send that info to DOJ, and then DOJ sends you a letter stating your registration is terminated. Now as far as a pardon goes, once you get your COR granted, it’s an automatic application for a pardon. Doesn’t mean you will get it. I learned something interesting.. After you receive your COR, which you have to wait, for the most part, 10 years from the time you were released from prison.. According to the governors office, to get a pardon, it has to be 10 years from the time you were released from parole. Which was very strange when I got that letter, so I have to wait til the end of February this year to finish the pardon. They said it will be reactivated once the 10 years from parole release date is completed. This is something I’m sure many of you are not aware of. I know there are a lot of discrepancies on what to do, or do you qualify? Well, you really can do this on your own, like I said in my posts above. Hey, it worked for me. Not only was my COR granted, but I never have to worry about walking into a police station to register every time I move! That’s a huge relief! Even when I took the letter into the police station, the cop said “wow, you have been exonerated, well done!” If you get this, you will know exactly how I feel! It’s an amazing feeling! It can happen, just have patience, and do your due diligence. Oh, and read every post on here before asking questions that have already been answered for you. It’s all here in black and white. There is really no need to be confused about it. Every county is the same, however each judge may use their own discretion. Good luck!

  57. Bob

    Hi,

    I received a COR in Sacramento County. Was on the 290 for a misdemeanor 647.6. I performed a life scan about 2 months after receiving COR. 290 was still listed and the COR did not show up. I sent in a Copy of the COR describing the I was still on the 290. DOJ sent me a termination letter of the 290 registration about a week later.

    The COR does not need to spell out that you are to be removed from the registration. As long as it is granted.

    I highly recommend anyone going for a COR to hire an experienced lawyer and to not take any chances of doing it yourself for a 290 termination.

    • David H

      Rob

      As I’d like to understand the COR process, What is “Life Scan?” please..

      • Paul

        It’s actually “Live Scan”, and it’s electronic fingerprinting.

  58. Two states east

    About “live scans” from my experience:

    Before I left Calif two years ago I needed a copy of my Calif criminal record for the next State. But Sacramento wants to know it’s real YOU who is asking ! Now in the olden days you went down to your local cop station, and for a fee (Around $20) they physically fingerprinted you on two separate cards. They then give the cards to you. They keep no copies. Then you mail both cards along with your request letter (And a check too, with their fee) up to Sacktown.

    NOW, however, they want you to go to a place that digitally does the same thing ! So I went to a UPS store. Not all the UPS stores do it ; they’ll direct you to one close by that does. BUT, they (UPS) want $50 to do it ! But I still had to mail a letter with a check…

  59. Stumped

    Just received my certificate of rehab, although I’m happy for getting it, it still doesn’t relieve me of registering or appearing on Megan’s website without a pardon from the governor. I will continue to be positive and hope in the end I do get that pardon. As far as what I had to do to get to this point pretty much the same as the original post, I hired a lawyer first thing he had to do was reduce original charge to misdemeanor and then expunge from their which he did. Once convictions where expunged he filed for COR with the county, I then received a packet from the local bureau of investigations in which they asked for a lot of info such as work history, finances, debt, cars owned, and also asked for six reference/character letters from friends/ coworkers or family and to provide them with three numbers of people for them to call to budge for you, I did all that sent it back within two weeks. Two weeks later setup an interview with the investigator who was taking care of my case for COR. Prior to the interview I spoke with my lawyer as to what expect, he told to me to be honest but do not get into specifics of the case. So the day of the interview he started asking me question into which he already knew the answers for, I suppose he was trying to catch me in a lie. Right after he asked to talk to him about what happened to go back and tell him everything, I told him I didn’t feel comfortable and that I was advised by my attorney not to talk about it, his demeanor changed immediately and said that it wouldn’t look good in front of the judge but I didn’t budge. Long story short my attorney later told me that he knew of a case where an attorney advised his client to be open and talk about his case, the investigator ended up persuading him into opening to the point where they where able to open up a new case and eventually got 8 years in prison. So I guess me not opening up to the investigator didn’t really matter in front of the judge, he approved my COR and now I just wait for a pardonz

    • New Person

      Congrats on getting your COR as well as sharing your experience. Every bit of information helps!

      Although, I thought the COR stopped you from registering, which means you aren’t required to be on any list or website?

      • Stumped

        Originally that’s what I thought myself but my particular offense does not qualify for it even though it’s a no contact offense. It’s a long story but I should have never listened to my public defender, just like many others on here I assume, I was railroaded into pleading to something out of fear and being naive about the law

    • Harry

      I have COR for 18 years, now and I am still caught in the Meg Web.

      • MS

        Perhaps you could contact the DOJ yourself and save some $$$?

        All the contact related info on the letter my attorney received from the DOJ regarding the correction request they sent on my behalf is below….

        DOJ
        Record Review Unit (916)227-3835

        Kamala D. Harris
        Attorney General

        Violent Crime Information Center
        Sex Offender Tracking Program
        P.O. Box 903387
        Sacramento, CA 94203-3870
        916-227-3288
        916-227-4345

        Maybe this info will be useful

        I love how it’s called the “Violent Crime Information Center” when they list people on the site that were guilty of “no contact’ offenses.

        • Clark

          Yay yay MS…the ‘violent crime….’ heading to their p.o. box,
          Is that heading also on the registry website..?

          • Clark

            Anyone not having to register… Does it have Violate Crime Information Center anywhere in this cal state web site registry.??????

        • Tobin's Tools

          “Violent crime?” I was committed a non-violent, no contact crime. Yet I am managed by the “Violent Crime Information Center?”

          Kamala Harris and her office is/are a bunch of overpaid crooks who misrepresent facts. It concerns me that Harris will likely be California’s next U.S. Senator.

          • Erwin

            It has nothing to do with California. Many states consider even nonviolent nocontact offenses a violent crime. Here in Wisconsin, when a person is convicted of possession of CP, the courts bans them from owning body armor or firearms due to the “violent nature” of the offense. Doesn’t matter if no contact was involved. At least in California, they’re just lumping your name into some bureaucratic agency that has the word ‘violence’ in their heading. But in Wisconsin, certain nocontact offenses involving children are actually considered “violent” under written statue

    • jj

      Stumped,
      Which state are you in? In cali I thought COR’s meant you were off the list and no longer had a duty to register, otherwise what’s the point?

      • MS

        I think you might want to hire an attorney to see about getting removed from Megan’s Law website since you were granted a COR. Left to the OOJ…you will be listed forever on their awesome site even if you’re not supposed to be. I hired an attorney (recordgone.com) to get removed from the site after my felony was reduced to a misdemeanor. I was supposed to be removed from the site automagically but wasn’t. After 3 months of waiting for the DOJ to update my records and remove me from the site on their own (how silly of me) I hired recordgone to submit the paperwork to the DOJ requesting an “administrative update”. The DOJ acknowledged the request (by mail to my attorney) and I’m no longer listed. Best $750 I have ever spent.

        Since you were granted a COR…you are no longer going down to the PD and registering correct? I’m assuming so. Now you just need to pursue getting yourself off the site.

        BTW…the person that signed the letter that my attorney received from the DOJ…

        Arturo Rodriguez, Manager
        Sex Offender Tracking Program

      • Stumped

        According to my attorney my particular offense 220pc does not qualify for getting off website or stop registering only a pardon will do that, the purpose of the COR is to actually be able to apply for a pardon.

      • Stumped

        Yes I am in cali

        • NPS

          Your offense does qualify for relief of registration. From what I understand of the CoR and relief of registration is that you first need to have the following:

          17b (unless it was already a misdemeanor)
          1203.4 expungement

          Once those are completed, you file for a CoR and if granted, no longer need to register. Seems you did all that.

          Something isn’t right. I would look into it because you should be relieved from registering.

          There would only be one reason why you are registering. Did you do state prison time? If so, then you cannot be relieved of the duty to register without a governor’s pardon.

          • Rambo

            NPS,

            Not true. Even SOME select offenses are eligible for relief from registration with a Certificate of Rehabilitation EVEN if sentenced to state prison.

            • New Person

              If you qualify for the CoR and awarded it, then you no longer have to register.

              Otherwise, what is the point of the CoR to a registrant who already has had 17b and 1203.4 awarded?

            • NPS

              Sorry Rambo but you’re misinformed.

              According to the 1203.4 penal code, one cannot get an expungement if you served state prison and parole. ONLY probation. You can still get a CoR but you will not be eligible for relief without first having the 1203.4 Then there are some select sex offenses that could be probationary, but will never be granted an expunge nor a CoR.

              Under 4852.01, you could only have served probation not state parole if convicted of a sex offense.

              I still think the original poster should be relieved from registration. If he has an expungement and a subsequent CoR, he should have been relieved.

              • Stumped

                I would love it if that would be my case again my lawyer said for my specific offense I need to get a pardon to relieve me from registering

          • Stumped

            Look up the law, only specific offenses are not eligible mine being one of those if you know any different and can guide me in that direction where it says I don’t i would appreciate it

            • NPS

              You’re right. I looked at the law ( PC290.5(b)(1) ). You are not eligible for relief of registration unless you have a full governor’s pardon.

              I was referencing PC 4852.01 and which PCs were not eligible for a CoR. Though your PC was eligible for CoR, it isn’t eligible for relief from registration. I’m sorry if I gave you false hope. I do wish you the best of luck on the pardon.

              • Punished for Life

                Although Gov. Jerry Brown is one of the most Liberal Governors in all of the United States, I have heard more than once on this forum that Gov. Brown has never indeed granted a “Pardon” to any SO.

                Now that may have changed recently, but we do know that it would be very rare to actually see a “Pardon” of a RSO in Calif.

                Frank

              • Stumped

                Thank you, as of now I will take what I can get, it’s kind of stupid in a way, I have been granted the COR which means that it’s an automatic application for a pardon and in which the COR states that the court recommends the pardon, all my chargers have been expunged as well so according to my lawyer I can legally state I have not been convicted.

  60. New Guy

    I’ve read the thread a few hundred times about the importance of letters – but I’ve never been able to find any good examples (either through the dead link in this thread or anywhere else online). Does anyone have any letters (written either by the person asking for the COR or as testimonials from friends/colleagues) that they could share?

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