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CaliforniaLiving with 290

Living with 290: Certificate of Rehabilitation – 2019 (Updated)

UPDATE 2/23: Removal from the Registry (below)

Original Submission 2/9: Last month, I received my Certificate or Rehabilitation, thus ending my duty to register and bringing to a conclusion a decade filled with challenges and a sense of utter hopelessness and despair.

When this all began, I asked myself repeatedly, “How am I ever going to get out of this?” At my first ACSOL meeting (before it was called ACSOL), the dim feeling of hope I felt that day was still overshadowed by this vague and ominous sense of doubt.

A few years would pass before I reached out to Janice to inquire about filing for CoR. But any renewed hope I had was immediately extinguished when she mentioned that 290 registrants with felony convictions were ineligible for the certificate.

It wasn’t until a friend of mine referred an attorney who is associated with ACSOL and whose relative, unfortunately, was convicted of a 290 case. So as a result this attorney developed a certain expertise with these laws. After discussing my case with him, hope was restored once again. He assured me that, under the relatively new 290.5, I was now eligible for a CoR. He added that the public defender’s office has had “reasonable success” with getting their clients certificates. I was still skeptical, given what I had witnessed with public defenders and these cases.

So I first contacted private attorneys, some referred by friends or other reputable connections. What I found astonishing was that no two of them seemed to be on the same page. Some didn’t even return my calls or emails after the first phone conversation. When I met for a consultation with one attorney, a referral, he said, “These courts…” and then gave the thumbs down gesture, adding that my most viable option would be to seek a pardon from the governor, leaving me disheartened once again.

Having nothing to lose at that point, I decided to contact the downtown Los Angeles public defender’s office, who then referred their Certificate or Rehabilitation unit. After speaking to Rose, one of their senior paralegals, I felt encouraged, particularly when she mentioned their 90% to 95% success rate. Since their office receives a lot of filings, and they present only a few certificate cases every Thursday, the process would take several months. Rose said that I could get it done more quickly with a private attorney. So I told her that I’d think about it and get back to her.

I weighed all the pros and cons in my mind. These private attorneys appeared either incompetent, ill-informed and sometimes very expensive, with retainers ranging from about $900 to $15K. Then I thought about Rose’s unit, who does nothing but CoR’s. DTLA is the only court in all of L.A. County where certificates are handled. So it stood to reason that this public defender’s office knows that they’re doing. They know the D.A., they know that judge, and this is their sole area of focus. I thus decided to call Rose and file the petition with her office. If I were denied, I could always try again, perhaps retaining private counsel the second time around.

Thankfully, that wasn’t necessary. Rose, her fellow senior paralegal Maryam, and the unit’s attorney who handles certificate hearings, restored my faith in the public defender’s office.

So here’s what I learned in the process that I would like to share with you.

PUBLIC DEFENDERS

I had developed a mistrust of public defenders representing those prior to conviction, which I’m sure many of you can relate. I’ve seen some good ones, but I witnessed plenty of corruption.

Post-conviction, however, I have found the public defender’s office to be extremely helpful. Not sure exactly why. For whatever reason, it’s just a completely different world after conviction. My guess is that D.A.’s have more incentive to be aggressive when it comes to maintaining high conviction rates.

EXPUNGEMENTS

As per the written instructions I received from Rose, one of the steps I needed to take was to expunge my case at the court where I was sentenced. Attorneys and paralegals at free legal clinics where they help fill out expungement filings told me that an expungement wasn’t required to get a CoR. When I had that conversation with Janice about certificates, even she asked why I thought I needed to get one. After all, a dismissal still won’t relieve me from registering.

Well, this is what I learned. When I brought this up with Rose, she said that this is one of the things that the judge looks for. Remember, this unit specializes in only one thing, and they know that court more intimately than anyone else. So that point is not to be argued.

Secondly, it stands to reason that it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have the dismissal of your case on record going into the certificate hearing.

I was also able to have mugshots.com remove me from their site with just the expungement, free of charge! To me this is a very big deal as it is perhaps the most heavily visited mugshots site on the web. I can only assume that they’re playing nice these days now that the site’s owners themselves are facing criminal charges, not to mention countless civil suits.

DATE OF ELIGIBILITY

While the statute mentions that one is eligible 10 years after release from custody, Rose said that in her court it’s actually 10 years after the conviction date, which is about the time I filed.

CHARACTER REFERENCE LETTERS

You’ll be asked to submit with the filing a minimum of four letters from people you know. You’ll receive specific instructions as to what they should write on your behalf. They can be friends, colleagues, associates, etc., but they can’t be relatives.

Once submitted to the D.A., an investigator will call at least a couple of them without notice. They’ll ask your friend or colleague how long they’ve known you, how you met, etc. These investigators will often be former police officers who apply the same technique of questioning that they use on suspects or witnesses. They might, for instance, ask the same question twice to see if you’re telling the truth.

VOLUNTEER WORK

Whether you’re going for an expungement, a certificate or a governor’s pardon, I cannot stress enough how much it will help your cause by volunteering your time at charitable organizations. Mind you, some organizations will require background checks and will likely not admit you if you have a criminal record. But many of them do, especially ones that offer community service work for probationers. I’d recommend calling the organization to find out if they’ll accept you. I worked with two organizations and had them write letters on my behalf to include in both my filings for expungement and certificate.

ADDITIONAL COUNSELING

I had a friend retain a private attorney for his CoR. This lawyer referred a forensic psychologist for my friend to see for a handful of sessions. On top of the $5K legal retainer, he had to pay an additional $2,500 for these counseling sessions. When I asked Rose whether or not I should do the same, she said that it’s rare that it’s ever needed for the filing and should only be done if the judge requests it. Again, I’m only speaking from my experience with the downtown L.A. court.

GOVERNOR’S PARDON

Once a certificate is granted the case is then submitted to the governor’s office to be considered for a pardon. Rose advised that I best contact his office in order to facilitate the process as it could otherwise take several years. For those who are ineligible for a CoR, you can submit such a request directly to his office. But with a CoR, your request carries more weight since it now has the approval of the judge behind it. We’ve been told that no California governor has ever granted a pardon for anyone convicted of a 290 case. But when I mentioned this to Rose, she said that such pardons may have been granted quietly.

For now, I’m just happy with the fact that I’m now removed from the registry. But to be honest, it hasn’t quite sunk in yet. My info is still up on the site and will likely take a few more weeks before it’s all removed. Perhaps then I will feel more liberated. When that friend I mentioned earlier received his certificate last year, I asked how he felt. He said that he still can’t believe it, even a year later. He’s still recovering from the unpleasant experiences he had to endure while he was still on the registry. There are times, for instance, when he gets a knock on the door, and he has to remind himself that it’s not the cops coming to check on him. It’s like a form of PTSD. While I would never compare myself to those who have dedicated themselves to serving our country, my friend and I feel as if he and I are much like brothers in arms who have just returned from war. You’re never the same after going through such a dark period, and we’re grateful that we have each other to share this with because nobody else would be able to relate, let alone sympathize with us.

I’m further unnerved after having learned that my penal code, 288.3, has been changed under the tiered registry statute. Originally it was classified as a Tier One offense. Now, from what I’ve been reading, most who are convicted of 288.3 will likely fall under Tier Three, with the possibility of being Tier Two or Tier One. I regarded the new law as a backup plan in case my certificate was denied. Now I feel that I have dodged a major bullet.

For those who are likewise 288.3 (or any other eligible penal code) and are at or beyond the 10 year mark, the time to act is NOW! Once 2021 arrives the new law will supersede the current one, which means that you will no longer be able to file for a CoR to remove yourself from the registry.

After now being given a new lease on life, and witnessing good people be treated so unjustly by this system, I cannot in good conscience just sit by and do nothing. I will do my best to help reform a system that has clearly caused tremendous damage to our humanity.

I’ll be back here and drop in on occasion. If you have any questions then I will do my best to answer them.

I wish you all the best.

UPDATE 2/23: Removal from the Registry

This is a follow-up to my post on February 9th detailing my experience during the Certificate of Rehabilitation process.

Well, after checking the registry every day after being granted my CoR, as of today (February 22, 2019) I am completely removed from the California Megan’s Law website as well as the national registry. I, of course, checked multiple times to make absolutely certain that I didn’t make a mistake. Until I saw myself removed I wasn’t going to take anything for granted, even if the judge at my hearing said I was relieved of my duty to register. But I can now say with certainty that I’m no longer registered, publicly or otherwise.

As far as time frame is concerned, while my friend’s info took about 5 weeks to be removed, mine took just a little over 3 weeks. Perhaps emailing them a scanned copy of my certificate helped expedite the removal.

I immediately emailed homefacts.com to order them to remove my photo and information and submit the removal to Google, since Homefacts is the one private site that makes it possible to find this information by simply searching my name. I should be removed from their site within the next day or so.

I also contacted arrestfacts.com to do the same, although they’re less visible than Homefacts.

Based on what I’ve observed with my friend when he did this last year, disappearing from Google, Bing and Yahoo searches could take a few months. Images of him were still found in searches, but they led to dead pages when you clicked on them. Eventually, these images no longer turned up in any of the search engines. I also had to clear the cache on my browsers so that the old images didn’t appear in the searches.

There are also services that, for a fee, will help clean up your info on private background check services. There are supposedly hundreds of background check sites online. As with everything else, please research these removal services thoroughly.

There is one piece of misinformation that the paralegal shared at with me at one of the legal clinics. A CoR does not do everything an expungement does and more. So the certificate is not as all inclusive as he suggested. Either will benefit you in different ways. This is why it’s recommended that you get both. Again, please consult with an attorney.

I will continue to check in and offer assistance in any way I can to those who need it.

————————-

NOTE: this was submitted as an anonymous user comment under the original CoR Post. We thought it deserved its own post – hopefully that is ok with the author. This is an original unedited and un-fact-checked user submission and not to be construed as legal advice. ***Moderator***

Join the discussion

  1. AO

    Congratulations! And thank you for the write-up. For me, this is unfortunately a non-option as while I’m technically eligible for the CoR, my 10 year wait period won’t be until a few years after the tier registry goes into effect (I’m curious though if maybe the CoR thing will be retained for those convicted while it was still in effect, similar to how 311.11 can’t be reduced via 17b except for those convicted before the change. After all, how’s it any different of possibly not having taken the plea had we had the foresight that the CoR might not be an option and its replacement putting into a worse situation?).

    I do hope that those that can do take advantage of this and your advice and regain their life as they’ve always should’ve been able to do.

    • Matthew

      I am going to attempt to get a COR sometime in late 2019/early 2020. I want to build a relationship with the community volunteering in the best ways possible. Right now I am helping our local zoo and I just sought information on adopting a highway. My conviction of 311.11(a) was just expunged and I have had no issues with anything else. I believe with 311.11(a) it is 7 years which puts me at this year.

      • D

        Does anyone know how many years you have to wait for a misdemeanor conviction that did not “require” registration but was part of the plea? It’s not listed in (2) below so I wasn’t sure.

        4852.03 (a)… For purposes of this chapter, the period of rehabilitation shall constitute five years’ residence in this state, plus a period of time determined by the following rules:
        (1) An additional four years in the case of a person convicted of violating Section 187, 209, 219, 4500, or 18755 of this code, or subdivision (a) of Section 1672 of the Military and Veterans Code, or of committing any other offense which carries a life sentence.
        (2) An additional five years in the case of a person convicted of committing an offense or attempted offense for which sex offender registration is required pursuant to Section 290, except that in the case of a person convicted of a violation of subdivision (b), (c), or (d) of Section 311.2, or of Section 311.3, 311.10, or 314, an additional two years.
        (3) An additional two years in the case of a person convicted of committing an offense that is not listed in paragraph (1) or paragraph (2) and that does not carry a life sentence.

        • NPS

          I was told 10 years. My offense is also not registerable, but the judge ordered me to register under 290.006.

        • Lyle

          I, too, was convicted of a misdemeanor & part of a plea, my lawyer negotiated I would Register for police eyes only. (I flashed a drive thru fast food cashier at 2 am, being still intoxicated following nightclubbing nearby). I desire a CoR so I am no longer mandated to yearly Register…it’s an inconvenient responsibility.
          I’m probably involving Chance Oberstein, who is Ca ACSOL’s VP. I guess I better get started ASAP as you recommended.
          I REALLY appreciate your story, advice and info! Thks!

      • Future Registrant

        Was your 311.11 expunged because it was prior to 2014?…my understanding is that it in now an unexpungable offense

  2. Mot

    Congratulations so good to see someone get free from this f*cked system. I have an attempt 288(a) the result of a sting; I did do prison time from 2001 to 2003 and wonder if I can now get the CoR? If you have any input of a contact phone at the LA County Public Defenders office, please

    • Anonymous OP

      First of all, to the moderator, I of course wholeheartedly approve of your making my reply its own post. I was actually surprised but very pleased that you did. Whatever helps get my messages the most exposure, so thank you for that. And I myself should have included a disclaimer that I am obviously not an attorney.

      @Mot
      In the process of dealing with my case I made a few friends who are dealing with their own situations. Most of them are, like yourself, convicted of 288(a). I had one of them called Rose to see if she can work with his case. Unfortunately, 288(a) is not eligible for CoR. The only course of action she recommended was a pardon. At the same time, though, she doesn’t know much about the coming tiered system.

      As for the contact phone, the phone number for the public defender’s office is (213) 974-6626. There are a couple of courthouses in Downtown L.A., but the one handling with our cases would be the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center on Temple St. If you still want to inquire about certificates despite what I shared here, then simply ask to speak to someone at the Certificate of Rehabilitation unit.

      I still hold out hope for my friends. After all, these laws are constantly being amended, and I hear that it’s possible to try and petition for Tier One status even if you’re Tier Two or even Three. I’ve been checking out attorney’s websites to see what they say about the tiered system, and all I can say is, be wary. Many of them describe the process as if they’ve already done this when it hasn’t even been put into effect yet.

      And to you and everyone else here, keep fighting the good fight. Remember, I once thought that what happened to me last month was a distant fantasy. Well, now it’s my reality. There is light somewhere in this darkness.

      • Matt

        Thank you for this post. I am applying for my COR next week. It has been ten long years. Although I am optimistic, I keep hearing and reading that law enforcement can play pretty dirty when they “investigate” these requests. It’s clear to me that they’re looking for a reason to give the judge for a denial. That said, would you mind explaining what you and the people you used as references went through during this process? I posted on the COR section of this site not too long ago, asking the same questions. Unfortunately, it seems that those who have been successful in their attempts at a COR tend to disappear from this site. That makes getting information a little more difficult. I am in Northern California, not LA. But I am just trying to get an understanding of what will happen when I submit this application. I am especially interested in how they treat references. Any further information you can provide would be awesome. I am afraid of being “put back through the meat grinder of another investigation”. Thank you again. And thank you to ACSOL for posting this out front.

        • Anonymous OP

          I recommend that you just keep focused and not get so spooked by all the rumors you’ve heard. I personally haven’t heard of law enforcement intentionally trying to sabotage a registrants who are going for certificates. Not to say that it doesn’t happen, but I’m not sure that they’re even notified at all throughout the process once you’ve filed your petition. As for the investigators that I mentioned, as I said, they could be former police officers.

          The first reference the investigator contacted alerted me as soon as their phone conversation had ended. This friend said that the investigator sounded like he “had it out for me.” I would advise your people not to feel intimidated by this interrogation-style tactic and to simply remain calm and answer the questions they’re asked. While they shouldn’t expect the investigator to sound cordial, but there’s no need to act defiant or defensive when responding. And above all, your people must all know about your case. Ultimately, they’re trying to determine whether or not your references are credible.

    • Joe

      We’ve had this discussion here before, so I am pretty sure this is the deal, though I am not a lawyer.

      664/288(a) – Attempted
      – IS eligible for / ENTITLED to expungement / dismissal under PC 1203.4
      – IS eligible to apply for, and be granted a Certificate of Rehabilitation after 10 years, HOWEVER
      – a granted CoR does NOT end registration for a conviction of ANY 288(a) – attempted or actual – per PC 290.5
      -> wait for the Tiered Registry to end registration after 20 years

      288(a) – Actual
      – is NOT eligible for / ENTITLED to expungement / dismissal under PC 1203.4
      – because PC 1203.4 relief is required for CoR, is NOT eligible to apply for a CoR
      -> wait for the Tiered Registry to end registration after 20 years

      If I were you, I would file for a dismissal under PC 1203.4 tomorrow. You do not need an attorney, any Public Defender can help you, and you do not even need that. It is one form and a $120 or some such filing fee, here it is:

      https://vcpublicdefender.org/cr180.pdf

      It will have no impact on your registration. It will not restore your gun rights. With it, you can honestly say, for the most part, you were never convicted of a crime.

      I would imagine a dismissal under 1203.4 would be a great thing to have when applying for relief under the Tiered Registry.

      • 290 air

        @Joe
        I wanted to add that a 1203.4 is a great thing to have if you are applying to another country for a Visa. I’ve used it a few times and had success obtaining a visitors visa. I usually include an explanation about how unjust the US registration scheme is and use it as an example of that. Showing we have to register for life even if our conviction is overturned.

        • Joe

          Good point. However, 1203/4 does not mean that the conviction is overturned by any stretch of the imagination. It will still count as a prior, and on the federal level it is not the same / a lot less than in CA.

          Everyone who can should get a dismissal under 1203.4. It is easy and it is automatic. Any attorney who does not counsel their (about to plead guilty) client about this option is guilty of malpractice, imo.

      • Mot

        Joe
        I sent an email to the LA Public Defenders office and got back an email that said a 644/288(a) is NOT eligible for a Cert of Rehab; can you please send me your source that said it is. My offense was in 2001 and I thought this might be my chance to get off Megan List .
        Thanks

        • Joe

          The pertinent sections of the CA Penal Code are 1203.4 and 290.5

          https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=1203.4.&lawCode=PEN
          http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=PEN&sectionNum=290.5.

          Getting a dismissal under PC 1203.4 is a pre-requisite for being able to apply for a CoR.

          1203.4 does not allow a dismissal for a VIOLATION of 288. An attempt is just that – an ATTEMPT to violate the section, NOT a VIOLATION. Therefore you can get a dismissal under 1203.4 with a 644/288(a).

          THEN apply for a CoR. Nothing in 290.5 is stopping you from applying, and even getting one.

          HOWEVER, 290.5(U) prevents the termination of 290 registration with a granted CoR, explicitly for ATTEMPTED violations.

          So, the PD was incorrect in that you are NOT eligible for a CoR. If they told you a CoR would NOT end your registration requirement, they were right. NONE of this will get you off the Megans Law list.

          This is so confusing that a PD probably does not know. Let alone a mere mortal. Your chance is in 2021 when the new PC 290 goes into effect.

  3. American Detained in America

    Thank you so much for this information…I have a similar conviction and become eligible later this year.

    • Anonymous OP

      I would start making calls now if I were you. You can do plenty of work in advance prior to your 10 year mark. Read my expungement post as well. You should get that done now if you haven’t already.

  4. Anonymous OP

    I feel I need to elaborate on Joe’s points regarding expungements.

    Here’s the link to the official page containing PC 1203.4 https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=1203.4.&lawCode=PEN

    Upon reading it carefully, the only mention of Section 288 (including any of its subdivisions) is that a violation of that offense would deem one ineligible.

    What also caught my attention is that there’s no mention of ineligibility for those who served prison sentences. I’m pretty sure that this prevented one from eligibility in the past.

    The code seems to have been amended recently, so unless I’m reading it incorrectly then I’d say that these are surprisingly positive changes.

    In the end, remember that the outcome is at the court’s discretion. Even if you are ineligible, keep in mind that the judge can still do whatever he or she wants. So I’d say that it doesn’t hurt to try.

    If you have character reference letters that I described above, then by all means, do attach them to your filing. I attached only two of my four, but I also included the two letters from those charity organizations. Even at an expungement hearing these extras can make a huge difference.

    Also, upon the recommendation of the paralegal where I expunged my case (Torrance), I attached what’s called a declaration page. While the court can provide you with one to fill out, which is basically a page with lines where you compose a letter to the judge, the paralegal suggested that I just write a business-style letter. A declaration page is usually something that’s included when filing for an expungement the second time around in case you were denied the first time. But the paralegal said that it wouldn’t hurt to include it the first time around.

    If you’re writing this in the form of a letter then make sure it’s formally done. Always start with, “Dear Honorable Judge.” Then you’ll need to make your reason(s) for dismissal as compelling as possible. No sob stories! I’m sure the judge has heard them all, so don’t insult his intelligence. To use what I said as an example, a dismissal would allow me to expand my philanthropic endeavors. I did also mention that DTLA requested the dismissal for the certificate filing.

    It’s worth reiterating, though, that expungements are not required for CoR’s. I’ve had both paralegals and attorneys tell me this. One of them explained that it’s redundant; a certificate will do what expungements do and more. The judge even told me that my rights as a citizen have been restored. However, as I said in the original post, an expungement is what the judge at the certificate hearing (at least in DTLA’s court) likes to see. Again, having your case dismissed can only look positive on your record, and the court takes it into account. So if you can get it done, then do it!

    As for the filing fee (I believe it’s $150), you will be asked if you wish to waive it. You can certainly say yes and fill out a simple form they’ll provide you. It’s highly doubtful they’ll bother to question your ability to pay it. They didn’t hassle me at all about it. The way I saw it, I’ve already given enough of my money to the system.

    Again, I likewise wouldn’t waste your money on retaining a private attorney for this. The public defender’s office at your court can assist you in properly filling out the form. If not, then have them recommend a expungement clinic. There are plenty out there. I used the F.A.M.E. legal clinic in L.A. They’re simply awesome over there.

    At your court hearing, you can still request a public defender to represent you when you go in front of the judge. But they’ll likely tell you that you know your own case more then he does, so you might end up doing most of the talking. If you decide to go pro per (no attorney), then just be prepared with the possibility of going head-to-head with the D.A. Hopefully yours will be like the one I had at my hearing. She was relatively cooperative.

    You should be given 3 copies of the filing, one to submit to the D.A.’s office at your court (which I believe you’ll need to do first), the second one is for the court clerk, and the third one is for you. You’ll also need to include in the form the name and address of a third party who is supposed to act as a process server that submits the filing on your behalf. I just filled in a name and address and submitted it myself. The clerk didn’t hassle me at all about it. I can’t speak for other courts, though.

    One last note on expungements. If for some reason the judge denies you a second time, you can file for an appeal on the grounds of what’s called “abuse of discretion.” In so doing, you’re arguing that the judge has been presented with no compelling reason to deny you your dismissal, especially after demonstrating that you’ve been nothing less than a model citizen and an asset to society,

    • New Person

      I would like to add onto the “expungement” aspect.

      Once you have successfully completed probation, then it is automatic by law that you are awarded 1203.4. There is no contesting this at all.

      On my personal experience, the judge in my case told my lawyer in private that he would deny my 1203.4 petition. So we withdrew my initial attempt. My lawyer had contact with an appellate lawyer and the appellate lawyer told him by law that 1203.4 must be given. So we went in a second time. This time with the petition stating by law the courts are REQUIRED TO GRANT the petition. The judge and DA were not happy with awarding me the 1203.4. The DA even had the probation office recommend that I not received a recommendation for 1203.4 despite successfully completing probation as well as paying off all expenses from the conviction. That’s how much vitriol the judge and DA had on me.

      For those filing in pro per or using a Public Defender, then I’ll give you the summary of my Points and Authorities page. But I will give in full detail about the REQUIRED part of the Points and Authority.

      I. A DEFENDANT CONVICTED OF A MISDEMEANOR OR FELONY AND GRANTED PROBATION IS ENTITLED TO HAVE THE CONVICTION EXPUNGED AFTER CERTAIN PREREQUISITES ARE FULFILLED.

      II. IF AN APPLICANT HAS MET THE STATUTORY CONDITIONS THE COURT IS REQUIRED TO GRANT THE PETITION

      The statute provides that a defendant who “has fulfilled the conditions of probation for the entire period of probation, or has been discharged prior to the termination of the period of probation’ (italics added) is entitled as a matter of right to have the plea or verdict changed to not guilty, to have the proceedings expunged from the record, and to have the accusations dismissed.” Pen C 1203.4. “If the petitioner establishes either of the necessary factual predicates, the trial court is required to grant the requested relief.” (People v. Lewis, 146 Cal.App.4th 294, 297, 53 Cal.Rptr.3d 40 (4th Dist. 2006).

      III THE COURT MAY CONSIDER POST-PROBATIONARY CONDUCT IN DECIDING DISCRETIONARY RELIEF

      =====

      I hope that helps out all who are applying for 1203.4 who have successfully completed probation as well as paid all fines. You automatically receive 1203.4 case dismissal without argument as it is REQUIRED by the courts when petitioned (provided you successfully completed probation, all fees paid, and are not under custody/had any other troubles with the law).

      The vitriol still haunts me. What the probation office did in not recommending me for 1203.4 was shocking b/c I did everything they asked of me as they reported to the judge, but I was still not good enough. What is worse is that the judge and DA did not know the law that it was REQUIRED OF THE COURTS TO GRANT THE PETITION. The judge told the DA that there’s nothing he can do about granting me the petition despite the DA’s protest to award me the petition. I am blessed to know the law stands for all those who qualify for 1203.4 and doesn’t excluded those with sex convictions.

      Unfortunately, I can’t apply for the COR as the new law starts Jan 1, 2021. My three years occurs over a week after Jan 1, 2021. Yet, I am very happy for you acquiring your CoR! Congrats and pray peace can now follow you. = )

      • Anonymous OP

        @New Person
        I find what you said about the judge very puzzling abd disconcerting. Sounds like that would fall under abuse of discretion.

        One thing I forgot to mention. Although it’s implied in my expungement post, I should clarify that, while you’re not required to appear at your expungement hearing, I most definitely recommend going. If you do, then make sure to look your best. Well-groomed, well-dressed. I know that to some of you this might be a given, but I’ve seen people show up in court in rippped jeans, t-shirts, shorts, flip-flops, etc. Appearance goes a long way.

  5. USA

    I personally had my 243.4 a reduced to a misdemeanor and expunged in LA. I later moved to OC and filed a COR. I have no doubt it would have been granted in LA! The Judge stated he could find no reason to deny the motion, but it wasn’t enough? I’m hoping things change with the new DA and SB 384! Congrats!

  6. JesusH

    First of all, congratulations.

    I’m a little bothered by the requirements though. 4 letters of recommendations, none from relatives? Volunteer work?

    I don’t know anybody. I don’t have any friends except for people from work and even then I don’t know them outside of the office. I only hang out with family. I’ve never been a social person really.

    I’ve never been the type to do volunteer work either. I have my hands full with myself and my kids. There’s more than enough to do there.

    I’m just a normal guy working, paying his taxes, trying to raise his kids (pretty tough when you’re committing a crime just by picking them up at school), minding his own business and not bothering anybody. Why should I have to change?

    I know what you will all say, that being me is what got me in this mess in the first place. I reject that. I don’t see muggers, thieves, gang bangers, drunk drivers or anyone else having to ‘do volunteer work’ to get back to whatever life they want to have.

    I know, it’s the game the state wants you to play. Play the game and you’ll be fine. Well, I’m getting really sick and tired of that BS.

    My daughter couldn’t go to school this weekend for some extra credit volunteer work because I couldn’t take her. I can’t take my family to spend some time at my father’s house in Mazatlan Mexico because of the Angel Watch crap.

    I’m not the one who has to change. The laws need to change. I’d be fine without all this. Just leave me alone.

    I probably shouldn’t be complaining, others have had it much worse. I am angry. I’m just sick of the crap and need to vent. There is no other outlet.

    • Will Allen

      I agree with you 100%.

      Frankly, these criminal regimes should have to PROVE that you are dangerous in order to keep you listed on their hit list. People who are listed on the hit list who have completed their legal sentences are done. If big government wants to keep you on a hit list after that, they should have to PROVE for certain that there is a need and it will do something useful. They can’t do that, of course.

      Also, letters of recommendations?! F’ing stupid. I appreciate that some people don’t socialize much but how hard could it be to find some people that will write a letter of recommendation? I bet if you tried, you could get double the number needed easily enough. And if not, offer incentives. The courts would never know a flipping thing about it.

      Same with letters from therapists and such. I’ve found it’s incredibly easy to find people who will take money to say wonderful things. And there is not a single therapist that can do anything better than just guess, if you present yourself to them the “right” way. It’s useless.

      Regarding volunteer work – I used to do that very, very often. But haven’t for over 2 decades now and I won’t again. Not happening. Even if I cared to do volunteer work, I have to report it to big government. Think I’m going to do that? Not a chance.

      It’s all just like the Registries, a stupid dog and pony show, a farce of a game. Having said all of that, if you have to jump through N hoops to get what you want, why not just do it? Don’t have to be happy about it.

      Don’t feel bad about complaining. I read a great article recently where a person was complaining about Airbnb’s decision to stop allowing him to use their services (due to a conflict with a host). It was a very legitimate complaint and about more than just him. A number of people really went off on the person about how it was a “first world problem” and that he shouldn’t be complaining about it, etc., etc. F all that. I’m tired of all of these “relative” arguments.

      Yes, ALL of us should be very grateful that we are not right now being marched into a Nazi gas chamber. Of course. That does not mean that we should not complain or try to improve every single, tiny, little detail/problem in our lives that we don’t like. It’s all relative. And frankly, being listed on the Registries has taught me that I need to worry about myself, my spouse, my children, extended family, and friends/allies, and that I don’t have to care about the problems of other people, likely because they are scumbags who will harm my family.

      So don’t ever worry about complaining. Look at the complaining of the crybaby snowflakes that want Registries.

      • Volunteer?

        Is it really volunteering if you have a specific goal of using it to overcome a legal obstacle? In our situations, it might as well be called indentured servitude! As for as letters of recommendation goes, I can go on Craigslist and offer cash to whomever writes a letter for me. Hell, we should set up a file online to access letters. You could just download a few , make appropriate alterations for your name, and there you have it!

        • Anonymous OP

          It might be to your benefit to try seeing the positive side of doing things such as volunteering. Perhaps some here may have given up on the concept of getting back what you put out there. But even if you’re not open to that, it’s also very gratifying to be of service to others in need. I also met some very cool people along the way. I found it to be an enriching experience.

          As for your Craigslist idea, well, if you’re going that route then keep in mind that you’re going to have to divulge your situation to a stranger. The investigator, should he end up calling your contact, will ask whether or not he or she knows about the exact nature of your offense.

          To JesusH, you didn’t hear this from me here, but do your relatives share the same last name and address as you? And if the answer is no, and they know about your offense, then are they willing to be your character reference “friends” during this process? Not that I’m saying you should ever do this, because, you know, it would be wrong. 😉

          And listen, I never said that the court required me to do the volunteer work. That’s just something that I strongly recommend to you all. You need to ask yourself the right questions. Would sacrificing a couple of extra hours of your week not be worth your freedom? Taking care of family might be sufficient in your mind, but to a judge he might not be terribly moved by that. After all, you’re supposed to take care of your family. Doing volunteer work demonstrates to the court that you’re going above and beyond what’s expected. Remember the ultimate objective.

        • Will Allen

          You are right. I guess that would not technically be volunteering since you are using them for your goals. Their goals don’t matter. In that light, sure, anyone ought to volunteer if they think it will help them personally.

          @Anonymous OP – I do really enjoy helping people. And I’ve always been a nice, helpful person. But after just a few years listed on the Registries, I HAD to stop that. It really would not be acceptable for me today to even consider volunteering. I simple won’t do it. I won’t even do it to help myself petition to get off of the Registries (I would if I really had a pretty good feeling it would help to any significant degree).

          Today, I simply will not take any chance that I’m helping some scumbag that supports the Registries. No way. Not ever. I stopped giving blood as well. Won’t stop if there is an accident. Won’t call police if I see someone being robbed. Won’t call about a house on fire. Cancelled AMBER alerts. You name it, I’ve stopped it.

          I can’t be a contributing citizen. Not acceptable. People who are not listed on the Registries are obligated to be contributing citizens.

          But, it is very, very trivial to find as many good people as you like who are in need and can use your help and volunteering. I find that to be much more satisfying anyway. And it is great to have deep relationships with good people. Not strangers.

        • Steve

          I agree with your premise, because many of us SO’s don’t really have any real friends, at least none that are aware of our SO Status. You don’t just go about discussing being an SO with anyone. I am very fortunate to have obtained a really good job and only HR knows of my past. I don’t dare share with any of my co-workers. Volunteering doesn’t really work for me either as I am already working 60 to 70 hours per week. I work I stay home and I don’t really want to expose my past to anyone.

    • RegistrantNotAnOffender

      Your venting so I understand but you have to fight to get off this registry. No one is going to do you any favors, if you don’t have any contacts who could write a character letter perhaps you should step outside your comfort zone. The worst thing you can do is live life as a recluse. You owe that to your kids. There are some of us who will never get off the reg no matter what we do, take your shot in the dark and run with it

  7. Tim Moore

    Congratulations!
    The COR processes sounds counter intuitive to me. It sounds like it was made for career criminals, not one time sexual offenders. It is for those who always operated outside the legal framewprk. I never did that bit once. I suppose the tiered registry will take the place of the COR anyway. Seems to make more sense to grant relief after 10 or twenty years offense free, and that should be enough, in deference to the low re-offense rate. From the registrants I have talked to, and it includes myself, registrants by and large were upstanding citizens, had friends, family ties, healthy extra curricular activities before the offense. Maybe there were some unresolved secret problems hidden behind the social facade People just don’t understand. You don’t have to be an anti social loner to commit a sex crime and anti social loners are not predestined sex offenders. I believe that is the rarity. The registrtry challenges developing an economic, social, and philanthropic life, so if that were truly the way to redemption, they should help us along the way by abolishing the registry. You should do those achievements only for your own fulfillment and for pleasure of contributing to the good of others, not just to fulfill a requirement. I don’t get involved in things that much anymore, and I am not trying to become the best person there ever was to balance out the crime. That game just doesn’t have an end. I tried that, and the stress led to depression, led to escape. You have to accept yourself for what you are. I take it easy and low key now. It is a relapse prevention plan that probably won’t get me a COR, even if it is available to me, or land a page in a text book. I just hope this registry nightmare ends for everyone who just wants to continue a good life and will work modestly for that goal. No more silly hoops to send free people jumping through.

    • New Person

      @ Tim Moore,

      The CoR is an odd process. SO’s are the only group who have to have a 1203.4 before they apply for the CoR. No other set of convicts are forced to go that far. The CoR was created because of those people who didn’t qualify for 1203.4, to give them relief. There’s more to the CoR, such as regaining one’s license of profession in CA.

      In basic sense, the CoR moved the goal post for any SO who qualified and earned the 1203.4. Since 1958, SO’s were able to get off the registry until the passing of 290.007 and 290.5 in 2007. But one can get off the registry if you a) get your 1203.4 and b) apply for the CoR. That’s singling out a group of people from an established immunity and moved the goal post from probationary period to 10 years, minimum.

      You know, that would be a great research work to discover what crimes are allowed under 1203.4 for immunities and for the CoR that are non-SO crimes. Do a direct comparison and question the inequality of such a decision to remove the immunity.

      US Constitution 14 Amendment: No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of the United States. CA Const Art 1. Sec 7b: A citizen or class of citizens may not be granted privileges or immunities not granted on the same terms to all citizens. The CA Const law actually says immunities or privileges must be granted to all. This is important b/c 1203.4 ruling of People v Lewis states if you qualify for 1203.4 then you are required to receive the immunity. But once you get the immunity, PC 290.007 strips the immunity away from you.

      Anyhow, I didn’t mean to hi-jack the thread. The 1203.4 aspect is automatic if a) you successfully complete probation and b) pay all your fines. (Of course, not incur anymore trouble, but that should go without saying.)

      If a person wants a CoR then listen to the advice the author gives you. Don’t argue with success. Mold yourself into that same success if you qualify for the CoR before the new law is enacted. Get out of your comfort zone to volunteer and generate possible letters of recommendations if you want out of this terrible scheme that sucks the living soul out of you. I went to a gym for the first time in what seems like forever. I served part of my probation period in county. When I smelled the aroma from the mop bucket and saw the yellow mop bucket contraption, I got triggered mentally like I was still in county. I haven’t been in county for about 7 years. I’m still haunted by it. So if you want out and qualify for the CoR, then do as the author says. His way worked.

  8. someone who cares

    Here is my opinion on the COR. If someone has been offense free for 10 years, has led a normal life, has normal friends, a normal job, that person should be relieved of the registry. You can apply for a COR 10 years after conviction, so most likely, everyone has moved on, made new friends, maybe got a new job. So, how in the world would someone tell their new friends, co-workers, etc about an offense that happened so long ago? Of you ask them to write a letter of recommendation, you would have to disclose your offense to them, the very thing you want to put behind you. And, if you get your friends to write this character letter, it is like everything else. No judge will think you are great person because your friends say so. Time alone should be the only deciding factor. Same with volunteering. It sounds great, and if you have the time, it might make you feel better, but doing it just to please the judge is ridiculous. Any judge would see right through this. So, why bother with all this when it really boils down to what person you have become. I myself have done things in my past I am not proud of, but I am not that person anymore. Neither are any of you who made a mistake in the past. No judge should “judge” you based on what you did, but judge you by the time that has passed without another re-offense, regardless of whether you are volunteering or provide character letters. They should have enough common sense to see that people who have been offense free are no longer a threat, and that is ALL they should base their decision on. I’d rather see a person who does NOT volunteer for the wrong reasons, who does not provide letters from friends who are clearly biased anyways, and rather look at the person and see what they are doing now, and not what they did THENl.

    • Anonymous OP

      I’m going to keep it simple. I posted the original comment to help. You want to see volunteer work? Well, there you have it. I didn’t have to come here at all and do what I’m doing now. I could have easily said to myself that I’m now off the registry and it’s your problem to deal with, not mine. But, as someone who gives a crap, I’m now feeling empowered enough and felt that it was my obligation to share my experience in hopes that it will assist someone here in finding their way to freedom.

      I’m also painfully aware that many others here are not eligible and dealing with much more complex situations than mine. The bitterness and cynicism from dealing with this over an extended period of time is more than palpable. But I’d rather not perpetuate a pointless debate about topics such as volunteering. If you don’t feel like doing it, then don’t! However, it’s also worth noting that the judges for my expungement and my CoR hearings didn’t comment on my harboring some ulterior motive for doing the charity work. Maybe it’s because they realized that I donated that time to causes that I actually care about.

      Here’s the bottom line: you want a certificate? Then you’ll most likely need those letters. Maybe some courts will accept just one or two. Some may not require any at all, I don’t know. But in DTLA, that’s what I was asked to do, so that’s what i did. For those who don’t have friends or associates to do this for you, figure it out. If you feel that your reputation and your freedom are worth fighting for, then you will.

      In response to the comment by “someone who cares,” yeah, I think we all agree that’s how it SHOULD be done. I certainly like your version, and maybe someday it will be done that way. But for now, this is how things are. So I saw my opportunity and did what was asked. To me, it wasn’t a matter of pleasing or impressing a judge. My expungement and certificate hearings were so brief (for the latter, I swear I stood before the judge for what felt like 45 seconds) that they felt very much like routine rubber-stamping. So the way I see it, many of these judges, particularly with the Downtown LA court and their high success rate with certificates, actually do want to see you rehabilitated. I know that sounds preposterous to some of you, but that’s honestly how it felt to me when I sat and observed in court. Did what I was asked to do to get there feel as if I were jumping through unnecessary hoops? Of course it did. Was it worth the trouble?…..Is that even a question?

    • RegistrantNotAnOffender

      There is a huge difference between what a judge should do and will do.

      Judges are people to and very impressionable. They see all kinds of child criminals and they see them often. They hear people talk about what they are going to do with their second chance. Actually bringing in references and volunteer work is proof you weren’t hiding which is the prevailing negative stereotype of us as it is.

      @someonewhocares. You are stretching it to say a productive person shouldn’t have people to reference. Religious leaders, therapist and work contacts are all people who probably know of someones offense history and can speak to someones character even if its to say he simply pays his obligations (landlord)

      • someone who cares

        Well, when it came to character letters at sentencing, it specifically said that those character letters had to mention that the person writing this letter is aware of the offense, to include the Penal Code. That is completely out of the question when it comes to landlords or bosses. Maybe, character letters for a COR are different? We have letters of recommendations from our landlords, but these are based solely on paying rent on time and being responsible tenants. If that would work, good. Otherwise, we are not about to tell new co-workers, bosses, landlords, friends, etc about an offense that happened 10 years ago.

        • Anonymous OP

          Anyone writing a letter on your behalf for your CoR filing will indeed need to know of your offense. If they are contacted by the investigator, which is highly likely, then that question WILL be asked.

          A couple of more points on volunteering. On the one hand, my friend who received his certificate last year did not include it in his filing. So that shows you that it’s not necessary. On the other hand, every private attorney, public defender and paralegal fully supported my doing it. I had a slightly more serious case than my friend’s, so I knew it would only help. Another important perspective to consider is that it actually provides certain leverage going into your hearing. Remember what I said about abuse of discretion. Showing that you’ve been giving back to the community actually puts the judge on the spot, because now he has even less of a compelling reason to deny you.

    • Steve

      Thank you for your great comments, you nailed it! I feel exactly as you have stated here!

  9. AERO1

    Geting a COR doesn’t mean anything if you have any kind of 290pc offenses only thing that can free you from the 290 registration is a government’s pardon and in California no sexoffender has ever been pardon.

  10. someone who cares

    Anonymous ~ I can’t speak for everyone, but I personally appreciate everyone’s opinion on here, including yours. Thank you for sharing your experience. I think that some people just feel frustrated because we have to jump through hoops to get relief when nobody else has to. Volunteering, in my opinion, if you have the time is always a great way to give to the community, but a judge should not make this a pre-requisite for a COR. A lot of people have full time jobs, families, and also want to have some time to themselves, and volunteering is jut not an option. The character letters are even more complicated since some of us just don’t want to rehash the past and bring up something to our new friends that we just don’t want them to know about. That is pretty obvious and no judge should expect you to move on yet bring up an offense from years ago to your new friends or co-workers. The past is the past. AO ~ I think you are incorrect. I believe that a COR is the only way to get relief for offenses where you either went to prison for, or for sex offenses. Some sex offenses are excluded from getting a COR, and those are the ones that would require a governor’s pardon. If someone can shed some light on what was said in another post about being able to get an expungement even if you went to prison, could you share that info? Is that for offenses that were served in prison but due to AB107 (Realignment in CA) will have Post Release Community Service rather than Parole?

    • Anonymous OP

      @someone who cares

      I feel I must again reiterate that volunteering is NOT a prerequisite for CoR. And if anyone petitioning refuses or simply cannot get character reference letters, well, I hope that works out for anyone them.

      As for 290.5 and 1203.4, I provided links above for both statutes. As for the topic of expungement for those who served prison time, remember that the amendment was put into effect only recently, so I myself would like to know if anyone was able to get a dismissal once they’re off parole. I told my other friends with 290 to look into it. One of them did prison time, so if he’s able to successfully get an expungement then I’ll of course post it here.

  11. E

    The very thought of asking for a reference letter is nauseating. I am self employed, so having a letter written from an employment angle is a mute point. As for clients writing one, I would lose clients pretty fast if they knew. As for friends, they bailed years ago, which says a lot about “ friends”. I reached out to a few to reconnect, but soon learned that I had made poor choices in that area. So where do the letters come from. How about loved ones in another country that would be lost without my support and keep me alive with theirs. Oh! Wait! Their opinions don’t count, do they.

    • Anonymous OP

      @E

      It’s too bad that you’ve been dealing with this on your own and can turn to no one to assist you with the letters. Now, again, you didn’t hear this from me here, but perhaps you can attend an upcoming ACSOL meeting and bring it up then? I’m sure you’ll find many in attendance who can empathize and would perhaps be willing to write letters on your behalf? Whatever story of long-term friendship you create with them, just make sure that they’re completely on the same page as you so that they’re 100% prepared to answer any question should they get the call.

      • E

        Thank you for your comment. I always back off when the time arrives to attend a mtg. Seems like I want to just forget the whole thing happened.
        But you have a good idea about asking others for assistance in references. I commented that a file be made that could contain sample letters.
        Of course, as a last resort, a passport/ visa from the darkweb only has to work once! A friend purchased one yrs ago and got into another country. A different reason for his exit from here. Just saying…..🤔
        I have also researched purchasing a citizenship in another country, then leaving here for good. Many have “lower” standards and are relatively inexpensive to purchase.

        • The X-Philes

          One thing to note about obtaining citizenship/passports from a “country of convenience” such as St. Kitts, et al: getting a bank account in any country of residence has become impossible, or nearly so, for those holding acquired passports from countries known for selling economic citizenship. So let’s say that you have a passport from St. Kitts or Dominica but actually live in a half-dozen other countries such as Hong Kong on a rotating basis (as with a friend of mine) you will find that getting and keeping a bank account from any of those countries, including the U.S., has become impossible. Banks are closing the accounts of such passport holders right-and-left leaving them with no viable means for conducting their economic lives. This is all thanks to the U.S.’ domination of international banking regulations, such as FATCA, which reflects its extraterritorial ambitions to regulate the world, much like International Megan’s Law.

  12. E

    With the current proposed tier system, would a COR be a mute point, since the offender on tier 1 would be elegible for removal @ 10 yrs. the time to apply for a COR is the same. Or would doing both increase chance of being successful. Also, does obtaining a COR garuantee that the government doesn’t “announce” you to everyplace you visit? Seems so easy for the government to say,”Oops, sorry we screwed up”, and destroying a chance at a new life somewhere else.

    • Anonymous OP

      If you’re eiligible now or at any point up until 2021 then I would strongly recommend going for a certificate. As I pointed out previously, being Tier One now does not guarantee that you’ll remain Tier One by the time the law goes into effect.

    • Anonymous OP

      @E

      Sorry , I overlooked your second question. Under International Megan’s Law, it’s only when you’re on the registry that the authorities alert officials of your arrival at the destination you’re taveling to. And remember, that’s only for international travel, not interstate whenever you’re flying. So to answer your question, once CoR is granted then you’re off the registry. That means you’re back to being a normal traveller, no unique identifier stamped on your passport, no being pulled aside and questioned either there or here upon your return, no hassles.

      And just just a heads up to everyone else who’s still reading this long thread. I will post an update once I’m removed altogether from both the state AND national Megan’s Law websites. I contacted the justice department to inquire about the process. They have their own attorneys verify the certificate. They then send a letter to both you and the law enforcement agency where you registered. My friend didn’t take any chances when he got his letter last year and went straight to his police dept. to make sure that they were notified. He also promptly contacted homefacts.com and Arrestfacts to inform them of his removal, and they immediately deleted him from their sites. It then took a few months for his photo to disappear from Google, Yahoo and Bing searches.

      • RegistrantNotAnOffender

        Are you sure about this? I read on another site someone wasn’t able to get their passport changed because it says this person was convicted of a sex offense against a minor. Even though an individual may have gotten off the registry I am not sure that changes the fact they got a conviction

        • Anonymous OP

          @RegistrantNotAnOffender

          I will remind you and everyone here, including myself, to always, always be 100% thorough in obtaining information no matter what phase of this legal situation you’re in at the moment. I will reiterate that I am not an attorney or government official, so it’s best to contact the appropriate departments in order to obtain the right information. That person who posted on the other site you mentioned most likely didn’t do his homework and simply assumed that he was free and clear once he was off of the registry. Just knowing how the bureaucracy in any of these government offices operates, I NEVER take for granted that anyone sitting behind those desks are always on the ball. Once I confirm that I am removed from both the California Megan’s Law website and the national registry I will contact the Angel Watch Center to check on my status prior to getting my passport. You can email them at DHSintermeganslaw@ice.dhs.gov.

          So let’s delve a little deeper into the issue you raised. Here’s the official State Dept. page explaining IML and passports https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/passports/passports-and-international-megans-law.html. There it states that the unique identifier will be included in passports issued to a “covered sex offender.”

          As stated on the United States Code website (http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title22-section212b&num=0&edition=prelim), under U S C 212b(c)(1), a covered sex offender is defined as the following:

          (A) is a sex offender, as defined in section 21503(f) of title 34; and
          (B) is currently required to register under the sex offender registration program of any jurisdiction;

          According to http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title34/subtitle2/chapter215&edition=prelim under section 21503(f)(2) of title 34, a “sex offender” is defined as “an individual required to register under the sex offender registration program of any jurisdiction or included in the National Sex Offender Registry, on the basis of an offense against a minor.”

          So, by the letter of the law, if one is no longer required to register in his jurisdiction and is removed from the national registry, IML does not apply to him.

  13. Illinois Contact

    Anonymous OP That’s not exactly correct. You’re not covered under the IML “when you’re on the registry.” The exact wording is:

    Someone who was convicted of certain sex offenses against a minor,
    AND
    is currently required to register under the sex offender laws of any jurisdiction.

    Now this is significant because let’s say you visit Florida and register there for your temporary stay but when you leave Florida your name will stay on the registry forever. This is true of many other States. Now you’re back home and you get removed from the registry there by virtue of years and offense or whatever. It’s my contention (not proved I don’t think by evidence so far) that you are not then required to register travel under the IML because you are not currently required to register in any jurisdiction. Not Florida because you are not present in Florida. Any legal legal experts care to weigh in on this?

    • AO

      AO @ Illinois Contact – I’m curious how IML works with California’s 1203.4 which is basically our version of an expungement? If you’re granted this, your conviction is dismissed for majority of civilian purposes. So on application forms that ask if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime, you can truthfully answer NO (there are exceptions to this if let’s say you’re applying to be a teacher or a police offers and other similar things). However, even though you’re granted this expungement, CA still requires you to register (but I believe under federal law you’d no longer require to register should CA ever fully go SORNA, and might not even be beholden to register in other states, should you move there). So since you no longer have a conviction but still required to register, you technically no longer fit that AND part of IML.

    • Anonymous OP

      @Illinois Contact

      I should have clarified that I’m only addressing those who have been relieved of registering in California. Since I myself am plannig to travel overseas I will do my homework to make absolutely sure that I won’t run into any problems. Of course, I should know as soon as I get my passport whether or not I’m cleared from IML altogether. I may also consult an immigration attorney who specializes in criminal law.

      One thing that I do know is that even with a governor’s pardon Canada still will likely turn you away. I read on their official government travel site that you’d need to pass their own rehabilitation program. Once you do, though, you’re free to enter Canada for life.

      I personally would avoid traveling to Florida at all costs if I were still registered. They are the absolute worst. Even if I spent only a weekend there I wouldn’t register.

      • R M

        “Of course, I should know as soon as I get my passport whether or not I’m cleared from IML altogether.”

        I, for one, applied for and received an unmarked passport back in Oct 2017. Mine SHOULD have been marked as I meet the requirements for it to be marked. I have not used it and won’t use it until I am no longer required to register as from reports here…. they will revoke it once I use it.

        BTW, angel watch MAY still send out a notice EVEN if the requirements aren’t met.

    • Josh

      In all this discussion about IML, has anybody ever tried to look at the federal registry? I have several times and what I’ve found is that the national registry is just made up of links to each state’s individual registries. It would stand to reason then that if you were removed from your state’s you would be removed from the federal registry. Somebody mentioned visiting a state like Florida and ending up on their registry for life then you would in effect be a “covered sex offender” again regardless of your status in your own respective state…I would love a concrete answer about the other half of the equation. I want to know for sure if I would receive a marked passport for having a conviction involving a minor without being registered any longer…

  14. Greg

    Congrats! I’m almost at the 10 yr mark and qualify for Certificate of Rehabilitation, but worried about how my Static 99 score is going to hurt me. Non contact offense and no other arrests or violations, but I have a high score which is 6. Tier law would put me at Level 1 without static score but the 6 alone puts me at Tier 3. We’re you able to get a new static score or did the judge even care at all?!?!

    Stories like yours are great to hear about!!!!!

    • Anonymous OP

      @Greg

      The CoR packet sent to me by the public defender’s office included:
      – a questionnaire asking for general info including your residential address, marital status, employment history, etc.
      – request for the 4 letters that I already mentioned.
      – essay section in which you write to the judge reasons why you feel you deserve the certificate. You’re encouraged to express remorse for what you did. Don’t paint a sob story or how you were the victim of a corrupt system. Convince the judge why he should believe that you’re rehabilitated.

      Nothing regarding the Static 99 scoring system was ever requested of me for the filing. Perhaps it’s different in your district or the judge presiding at your particular court that handles certificates.

      • Mot

        Question: was your offense in Los Angeles County? Is the Public Defender in LA county? Mine was in a different county although I was and am living in LA County or do you know if I have to go back to the county of the offense?
        Thanks

        • Anonymous OP

          @Mot

          My offense occurred in LA County and I”ve also lived in the county ever since. And yes, the public defender I used us in LA County. You should call the Downtown LA public defender’s office and ask to speak to Rose or Maryam at the Certificate of Rehabilitation Unit. They’ll be able to determine whether or not they can take you.

      • NPS

        I qualify for the CoR next year (Summer 2020). I wonder if these requirements differ from county to county. I’ll be filing in Contra Costa, where I live and the DA is pro restorative justice. In fact, the person who ran against her for DA (and lost) described her as “being soft on sexual predators”. When I got that mailer, I said, “well then, she has MY vote.” But I digress.

        I was originally adjudicated in Orange County, immediately transferred my case to San Francisco County, where I had my probation terminated early and my 17b + 1203.4 granted. I did this in pro per, and I plan on filing the CoR in pro per as well.

        I would say that I have much to show in support of rehabilitation. I completed probation without a hitch. I earned my Master’s Degree, I have developed and maintained friendships and ties to a community. I bought a house. I work in the legal profession (ironic, I know). I want the certificate because I plan on taking the BAR exam in 2022, and I want my practice to be in post-conviction relief. I’ve avoided relationships because I don’t want the problems that the registry comes with. I’ve dated men who are from Korea or Mongolia. (I’m a woman, by the way.) If I do marry anyone from Asia, I wouldn’t be able to sponsor him or even visit his country of origin.

        I have no problems obtaining letters of support. I’ve also volunteered (not in any kind of social justice type of setting but more social). My concern is providing my employment history. My current employer does not know and they are very, very happy with my work (my review was marked as excellent). I’d rather they not know at all.

        Plus, during the 10 years, I was forced to resign from a job in 2011 and fired from another in 2017 when they learned about my status. I’d hate for them to be contacted, too. The latter is a vile person who has nothing good to say about any former employee let alone one who in an RC. I do have one former employer for whom I worked for 5 years. He knows about my status and even wrote a support letter for my 1203.4.

        This is where I get scared. The background check and contacting of individuals who I would’t want contacted. I’m not on the public registry, so I’m afraid of my status being made public.

        Sorry for the rant. I’m just trying tp prepare myself mentally/emotionally. I think it would be good if people from other counties who’ve successfully obtained their CoRs chime in.

        • Anonymous OP

          @NPS

          While I cannot 100% guarantee that your employer won’t be contacted by the investigator, somehow I doubt it’ll happen. I don’t think it’s necessarily their intent to make life even more difficult for you. I never got the sense that they were going to extraordinary lengths to keep me registered, especially when I’ve provided sufficient information to show that I am indeed “rehabilitated.” Also, the more your reference letters look valid, the less likely they’ll be inclined to contact anybody else, including your employer. Quick tip: one of my references used a letterhead, which needless to say gave it even more credibility. And, as much as I hate to say it, prosecutors are less likely to be aggressive towards women who have been convicted of these offenses. Again, no guarantees, but I honestly think you’ll be fine.

    • Benny

      I see a lot of talk on COR. Could someone help with my situation to determine where I stand regarding obtaining an COR. Going on 25 yrs on this wretched registry on an 243.4 F which has been reduced via 17b and expunged 1204.3. No internet exposure. My index offense was early 90s and what I’m not sure about is that I unfortunately had a drug charge in 2009, I requested the motion to reduce and dismiss my sex charge in 2016 which as I’ve said was granted. My ten year mark will be next year so based on that drug charge and the expungement what are my chances for obtaining an COR. Any advice and or help will be greatly appreciated. Good luck to all and thank you.

      • Anonymous OP

        @Benny

        According to PC 290.5(a)(2)(C), it states that, even with a CoR, anyone convicted of 243.4 would still have to register “provided that the offense is a felony.” Which means that, if you were granted a 17(b) reduction to a misdemeanor along with your expungement like you said, then it looks like you’re eligible by that alone. Now, I’m not sure how your eligibility or the 10 year time frame will be affected by the drug charge, but there’s no mention of this in 290.5. The court will review your rap sheet. It really depends on the judge (and usually the D.A.). They may not factor it in since it’s unrelated to the sex offense, and you can argue that at your hearing if the D.A. decides to use it against you. Plus the dismissal on what appears to be a “light” charge in the first place could help your cause. Please consult with an attorney about this if you haven’t done so already. I would start with the public defender’s office. Make sure to bookmark the statute page (http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=290.5.&lawCode=PEN) so that you can refer to it if necessary during your consultations.

      • R M

        (f) As used in subdivisions (a), (b), (c), and (d), “touches” means physical contact with the skin of another person whether accomplished directly or through the clothing of the person committing the offense.

        WOW… and that got you on the registry? EVERYONE who has ever shook hands, hugged, wiped dirt off of another, etc. could be on the sex offense registry. So insane.

        Benny, I’m not in Ca so I can’t help you with your question. Just looked up 243.4(f)… amazing.

    • The Static-99R Is A Scam

      The Scam-99R worries me too. With the current Certificate of Rehabilitation process, it seems that the weight of the Static-99R scam is fairly irrelevant and is easily disputable with other types of assessments. But when the Certificate of Rehabilitation “off-ramp” expires, and the Tiered Law becomes the only off-ramp, then the Static-99R scam (and “Doctor” Karl Hanson) is given biblical powers.

      A better law would have been to extend the Certificate of Rehabilitation off-ramp to all registrants, regardless of offense. Let a Judge decide each case *individually*.

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