Sex Offender Was Deprived of Equal Protection, CA Rules

Panel Says Law Allowing Some Child Molesters to Seek Pardon, but Not Others, Is Irrational and Unconstitutional

A state law that allows a defendant convicted of a sex crime against a child under the age of 10 years to obtain a certificate of rehabilitation and pardon, but denies a similar opportunity to one convicted of molesting a child under the age of 14, is unconstitutional, the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled Friday.

“[W]e can discern no rational basis for the unequal treatment of these two similarly situated groups of sex offenders,” Justice David A. Thompson wrote for Div. Three.

The court directed an Orange Superior Court judge to consider the merits of ___ ___ ___’s petition for a certificate of rehabilitation.

Such certificates are issued under a statutory scheme that permits a convicted felon to apply after completing probation, or once a specified number of years—varying according to the seriousness of the crime—have elapsed following release from prison and discharge from parole. A petition is filed in the county where the person lives, and if—following an investigation—the person is found to be of good character, a judge may grant the certificate. Full Article

Note: For more on Certificate of Rehabilitation see the COR Page and FAQ on this site.

Updated: Decision –

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I commend the Judge. Truly. I too attempted to obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation back in 2000. In my case, a Certificate of Rehabilitation would annul my requirement to register (Plead to a wobbler, batter, reduced to a misdemeanor, expunged, summary probation. ITs now been over 18 years, no arrests (prior/after) and I’ve obtained higher education. When I went in to OC, the DA was surreal. Very angry woman. She didn’t play fair. When it was all over with, the Judge stated, he could not find one reason to deny the motion, but it just wasn’t enough? To this day, I have no idea what that meant! Motion denied without predjudice:(

So 288a now you can apply for COR?

What about a 288.b (4)??

This is indeed very good news from a wise thinking judge. The many flaws in the 290 system are starting to be exposed and ever so slowly people are being afforded tidbits of justice. It’s a journey and two years ago I was pretty despondent about never getting relief from the registry and now I’m encouraged. Thanks Janice, CARSOL and all those that post positive and encouraging news, stories and life experiences. We ain’t there yet, but another step forward in spite of all outside attempts to make RSO’s fail.

what the next step on this ?

The 4th district has been a godsend to me and hopefully this decision will help me to put a bad mistake behind me.

This is an important decision by a unanimous panel of three judges. While its scope is limited, the decision will help hundreds, maybe more to end their requirement to register. It’s decisions like this that make a difference. We can only hope that they are just the beginning and lead to overturning the 2003 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, Doe v. Smith, which has caused so much harm by deciding that registration is an administrative requirement and not punishment.

I have a question. My husband was arrested and convicted in 1986 for a 288(a) which was his step daughter at the time. He didn’t serve any prison time but was to complete some counseling, he divorced his wife and moved away but was suppose to complete counseling and was doing so but the court felt he was taking to long so they rearrested him and sent him to jail for 90 days for observation. Fast forward, to 1999 and he was arrested for failure to register when he moved from one city to another…no jail time. He has not been arrested or even a traffic ticket since then. He holds a good job and we have been married since 1998 with children of our own. So my question is…should we try for a Cert. of Rehab and see if we can have this erased? Or will they throw it out because of his mistakes. We did try to have him removed from the website with no luck because the county where he was arrested said they had destroyed all the documents since it was so far back. We haven’t tried to do anything since 2006. Any suggestions?

Is it better to have an attorney help with the COR or go it alone. I have a 288(a) attempt in 2001 and was released in 2003 so I should be able to apply at this time…correct?

Like with the Hofsheier decision, this case could open up the case law to include other charges that are currently banned from COR consideration. It’s an incremental approach but it’s working.

does anyone know the actual def for a COR?

My Conv. was in late 96 in Butte Co. & I recently, well about 10 months ago called My old PD & he would not even talk to me however his sec. did & said that after 5 yrs they destroy the records but here’s the case #? I was not even out Yet & when I did Finnish parole in 03 I was “Told By My PO” Leave Town is My best advise Or,,,,? so I did & moved back home only thing I have had was 1 speeding ticket & 1 red light cam ticket since???? so they hang people & then burn the rope ? IDK Toooo Fishy Something is Wrong with this picture!

I would ask Mrs. B this where do You go for the Psych eval ? that would be acceptable to the panel. Private or County? Then I have to ask How can they use it against you later if not favorable & if favorable how much weight does it really carry @ the board? Character Witnesses & letters of recommendation? How Many are actually heard or read before the decision?I want to try this nothing to lose @ this point except $ I don’t have!lol

I would like a COR, but I think a better solution would be to have the registry deemed ex post facto punishment or at least have some way to fall off it at some point. Getting a COR sounds like you are guilty until you prove you are innocent. That is a step up from “you are a danger and there is nothing you can do to prove otherwise”, which is what every registry law says to justify itself.

@ Tim:You said”I would like a COR, but I think a better solution would be to have the registry deemed ex post facto punishment or at least have some way to fall off it at some point. Getting a COR sounds like you are guilty until you prove you are innocent. That is a step up from “you are a danger and there is nothing you can do to prove otherwise”. Yes Tim I was wondering that as well. It seems a land mine @ every turn That Is Exactly Why I haven’t started doing it Yet. In the case of a false conviction It could due just as You stated any other Ideas? This Country Has us Screwed to a wall & They don’t want us doing anything that could benefit Us Without having a Bear trap Waitin’ for Us @ every turn! It’s like Quick sand the more You struggle the deeper you sink What a Wonderful System We have,,,,WOW

I wouldn’t have any problem with proving that I am clean and of good character. Even if I were Saint Timothy, what incentive would the judge have to grant a COR? If the judge makes a mistake, it would come back to haunt her. It’s a matter of time and money for me. I am already struggling. In principle, I would first spend my time towards helping the greatest amount of people. That would give me a greater sense of victory.

Here is the majority of what you have to do to get your 1203.4 P.C Certificate of Rehabilitation .
1. you must have completed all of your probation requirements.
2. you can not have any court cases whatsoever pending can not be on probation or parole must have had a clean slate and show good moral life (no convictions for the last 10 years before applying for the Cert.
5. you must have been a California resident for the last five years before applying for your Cert.
6. 10 years must have gone by from time of conviction and released from custody or released from parole or probation which is the lesser of the two before you can apply for your Cert. must advise the DA 30 days before applying for your Cert.

My advise is to get the Certificate Of rehabilitation packet ( from the court clerk) Then get a lawyer to read all the requirements (and advise you if you qualify) and then let him/her to do all the paperwork and all the legal stuff.

GOOD LUCK. and my advice to all is use good judgment from this day forward.


all the government is going to do is make it so NO persons with 290 get off megans or a certificate. so don’t get your hopes up.I am in danger in more ways than one.thank you greg scott 290