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Living with 290

Living with 290: Certificate of Rehabilitation is possible

In CA it it possible to apply and receive a COR. I was granted in March a COR and no longer am required to register as a 290 citizen. So heads up folks. There’s relief for some who apply. Contact the Public Defender’s office in you CA. city to see if you are eligible for this valuable relief. Lawyers just want your money. Public Defender will do this at no charge. Apply for expungement first. 10 years clean record is a requirement.

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  1. Jason Wilson

    Well, since i just got off parole in 2012 … i imagine that i have to have a clean record since i’ve been OFF paper. Do you have to “complete” a sex offender treatment program? It would be good to hear the basic situation around this person who got off the registry.

  2. Joe

    While the COR is a viable vehicle for relief for very few, it can and does indeed happen. First thing one needs to do is find out IF a COR would terminate the registration requirement. One should be able to do this from the info on this web site and one’s convictions and dates.

    See here #9 / #10

    The author here paid an attorney for an initial assessment – that sounds like money well spent. The attorney he mentions is currently on the CARSOL Board and has been successful at the process himself.

    This is a multi step process. First thing that needs to happen is to dismiss the conviction under 1203.4.

    Certain offenses are excluded from the initial step of even seeking relief under 1203.4. (QUESTION: was PC 311 recently added to that??? who knows?). There is currently some confusion with regards to recent rulings and pending legislation relating to PC 288(a) (Tiery).

    Some have heard that only misdemeanors are eligible for registration relief with a COR but is not quite correct. PC 290.5 lists the offenses that do not terminate registration even with a COR. Here it is important to point out that certain felony convictions (wobblers) can be reduced to misdemeanors if the sentence did not include a prison sentence.

    So the name of the game is Reduce (if necessary, PC 17b), Dismiss (PC 1203.4), COR (PC 4852.01), Stop Registration (automatic court order after approved COR).

    You file the app for COR in the County of your residence, not conviction. There are hefty time requirements (stated 7-10 yrs min since conviction, realistically much longer), general residence requirements in the state (5 yrs). That the applicant has been offense free and a contributing member of society since conviction, and has the back up to prove it, goes without saying.

    It is an ambitious undertaking and involves a ton of paperwork, help from others (support letters), professional assessments (psychologist) and a bunch of deadlines and special forms. The author here describes it quite well. You can do it yourself or get an attorney (money well spent imo). Some public defender’s offices also offer help in this area. Many have instruction packets. etc

    The granting is completely without standard and up to the judge (given that the required parameters are fulfilled). It is not worth it to go in with a half a$$ed effort – the easy thing is for the judge to deny it to cover his a$$. You need to give him / her a reason to go out on a limb for you. Expect the District Attorney to object and tell the judge how heinous the crime was and what a horrible person and danger to society the petitioner is (I have seen it for people with sentences of 60 – 90 days in jail and / or probation).

    Some people who have gone through this have reported that the DA’s office, upon being notified of the application, have gone out of their way to snoop amongst neighbors and the work place to find any dirt and probably make sure that the petitioner’s anonymity is blown. This is especially concerning for those who are not on the web site, however, I have not heard of this happening to the cases I am familiar with. Would depend on the jurisdiction and DA office (kind of blows the mind that they have nothing better to do, but whatever).

    So first thing one needs to get one’s paperwork figure out if one is even a candidate. Congrats to the person who wrote the post!

  3. Tim

    Do you have to be a contributing member of society par excellence (involved in a church, getting a PhD and the like) or just been able to support the family while keeping out of trouble.

  4. Anonymous Nobody

    Yes, a COR will end registration only for some offenses, not all of them. I think most felons must get a pardon to be able to stop registering, although the certificate can be useful for other purposes too. The certificate is the start of the process to seek a pardon; the rest of the process will continue if you get the certificate, even if you don’t want it to or don’t even need it (for one thing, your name will be posted in the public Legislative record — all news people will see it as well as anyone else who wants to look).

    Also, some offenses, such as indecent exposure, are eligible after only seven years, not 10.

    It would be nice to hear all the details of this certificate win. Charge, what was presented, where, what county or counties were involved (both where you are and where your offense was), anything else.

    Yes, it is true that the public defender is required by law to help you with this. However, you can expect as good a representation from them as you got for your trial. 🙁 If this were something routinely granted simply on showing you have not had any further offense, they might do; but unfortunately, this is something that it seems the great majority of the time is denied no matter what you show, so you better have a lawyer that goes well beyond the minimum showing, which is all the public defender will do.

  5. BAM

    There is no remedy for us offenders that have moved out of the state of California at this point. It has been rough living in Florida. Please help.

  6. E

    I’ve got an appointment with an attorney this week who’s had extensive experience with these cases. I’m crossing my fingers that I am eligible for a COR because I have tons of evidence to show positive contributions to society since my conviction. It’s been 12 years since then. When it happened, I lost mostly everything. And I’ve worked hard to rebuild my life as one that is productive and hopeful. But registering brings this constant fear that i could loss everything all over again just because someone found out and they start a witch hunt – for a mistake I made 12 years ago! I hope this works out.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      The very wrong and unfortunate thing about seeking a Certificate of REHABILITATION is that it seems simply showing you have been a law abiding citizen, which proves you are rehabilitated, is not good enough. They seem to want you to show that you were superman (or woman). Simply living a good, normal life does not seem to be sufficient — it seems you must show you have gone overboard and been miraculous in your contributions to society — which, of course, your registration restrictions bar you from doing very much of.

      Here’s an approach to challenge the treatment registrants get under the COR application: There should be a serious study into how non-sex offenders are reviewed as compared to how sex offenders are reviewed. I’ll bet you nearly anything that it would show serious differences to the detriment of registrants. When that could be shown, it could not stand the Constitution’s requirement of equal application of the laws.

      In the end, we should simply be able to go in and show we have not committed any further offenses, and that we have generally led a good life, not an exemplary or way above the grade life, or never had extended stretch of unemployment like so many people do, or other. Just show we have led a normal life, even if that is simply scratching by and minding our own business. We shouldn’t need psychiatric reviews to show any more than someone seeking a COR for an aggravated assault needs to. We shouldn’t need to show we have major accomplishments, just that we have gone straight.

      • Tim

        I agree, for myself. I stopped trying to be superman, and fix the world’s problems. For me it led to stress and depression, which damaged my judgement. Everyone’s different. All the while I thought I was hot stuff and didn’t see the danger before my eyes. Kind of odd judges think that by creating an extremely good version of yourself, you can cancel out the bad. That’s not how life works. Now I do what I can and lead a relatively uneventful life. It wouldn’t look good on paper, but it keeps me sane.

  7. Stanley K.

    I will file next summer. In the meantime, anybody here have any luck with a name change if their conviction was based on a misdemeanor sex offense, with their information not subject to public disclosure? I am hoping my petition for a name change will in the least grant me a level of anonymity that is consistent with my misdemeanor 311.4 conviction and reflective of state law. I had to register briefly out-of-state a few years back and now I am on an extortion site. Good times.

  8. USA

    No offense, but I tried for a Certificate of Rehabilitation in OC. My offense was a wobbler battery with summary probation. The charge had been reduced to a misdemeanor and expunged. No arrestests/issues before or after. OC does things differently. I was shocked by their conduct (the investigator came out and questioned my neighbors, came and knocked on my door at 7pm at night, secretly recorded our conversation when I invited me in and the report the investigator wrote up was very dishonest. I was both shocked and disturbed that officials could do this. The DA was angry, confrontational, made false accusations and didn’t even address the facts accurately. Finally, the JUDGE became angry and told her to be quiet. His final statement was, he couldn’t find one reason to decline my request, but it just wasn’t enough. Motion denied.

  9. Jack

    I had about 1 1/2 years of appearances, 6 letters of character, inquires with employment. At the time of court proceeding I was required by the judge to be tested by a psychologist. Worked out for the better. 288.2(B) and a 311.11(A)are the charges. Done deal. Expunged. C O R. IT CAN BE DONE. Read 290.5 closely. It spells out what charges can be relieved of registering. I will say it was shaky at first. Chin up dive in. All they can do is decline your application.

  10. Tim

    Anyone know some lawyers who can do this in San Diego County? Don’t know if I qualify. All I know is registration is an unexploded bomb. At any time it could blow up and ruin the life you built.

  11. Mat

    Hey, Jack. You are not the only one that has a tough time with certs involving 290 registration in Orange County. Our law firm,, which mostly does expungement, has done more than 150 certs and about 50% involve 290 issues. Overall, we succeed about 80% of the time on certs with 290 issues, however, in OC, we have had 2 granted and 5 denied— that being said, it is a small sample and the 5 denied were more complicated than most cases. In contrast, we have had 17 granted in Los Angeles, and only 1 denied. Orange County is the only county where we see a majority of our cert cases/w 290 issues denied.

  12. AM

    I was convicted of 2 counts of 288(c)(1) which is a wobbler back in 2001. Served county, no probation violations and haven’t been arrested or convictions since. I called different attorneys and neither can give me a straight answer. Some say the 288(c)(1) can’t be reduced and expunged and some say other. I actually went to court, did all the paper work myself, but the Judge said it was too early come back in a year, well that was 4 years ago. I am wondering what are the chances of the 288(c)(1) being dropped to misdemeanors and expunged and taken off the site. I figured people on here will know since they went through the motions, and not an attorney that doesn’t know and wants to charge $6000.

    • j

      My understanding is that a primary factor is that crimes in this category are listed as “restricted” crimes and are typically exempt from being reduced to misdemeanors after the conviction on record for the felony offense.

      There are particular situations when at the time of sentencing, provisions are made for sentence reduction as part of a plea bargain. Many of us plead out, but no real bargaining took place other than to expedite the case and hopefully avoid a prison sentence while essentially being at the mercy of the court and judge presiding over the sentencing phase.

      Often time served at the county level is part of a suspended sentence that included the waiver of a specific prison sentence. These are but a couple of reasons or facets one facet of an extremely complicated issue. There are some limited circumstances such as intra-familial relationship between the victim and subject that will qualify for exemption from web publication but does little to do with the disposition of the case.

      Please correct any misunderstanding I have of these circumstances and good luck either way finding the ever elusive loophole in the law that can restore dignity to registrants and their families.

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